Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast examines Hilton’s new marketing positioning, Alaska Air’s business travel concerns and the overhaul of UK tourism marketing.
Hello from Skift. Today is Monday, July 25 in New York. Here’s what you need to know about the travel industry today.
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Hilton Worldwide is unveiling two major marketing initiatives on Monday, including an international television campaign highlighting the value of a comfortable hotel experience. But more importantly, it is committed to making the hotel the center of its marketing for years to come, reports hospitality editor Sean O’Neill.
Hilton Marketing Director Mark Weinstein agrees that presenting an actual hotel is a departure from standard marketing practices. Most hotel companies, including Hilton, run advertisements advertising a destination instead of their properties. However, he thinks the slogan “For the stay” will resonate with consumers eager for a relaxing hotel experience during a chaotic summer for travel. Additionally, Weinstein considers the slogan to be permanent — unlike campaigns that come and go.
As for the company’s television campaign, it features light-hearted commercials featuring travelers ranging from families to socialite Paris Hilton in stressful travel situations.
Next, Alaska Airlines saw business travel rebound in the first quarter. However, the carrier is uncertain whether the sector will continue to make progress in its recovery, writes Matthew Parsons, business travel editor.
Alaska has benefited greatly from the large-scale return of tech workers to business travel. But chief commercial officer Andrew Harrison said on Alaska’s second-quarter earnings call last week that bookings at tech companies may have plateaued. Business travel volume for tech companies is around 50% of pre-Covid levels, according to business data platform Tripbam.
Although Harrison described the future of business travel as unstable, Parsons writes that the business is not complaining about the present. Alaska generated $2.7 billion in revenue in the second quarter, a record for the company. Its turnover for the month of June alone exceeded one billion dollars.
Finally, the UK is revamping its destination marketing organizations as part of its strategy to make tourism more sustainable, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.
The overhaul includes the launch of an accreditation scheme for such organizations which aligns with the government’s sustainability plan, according to VisitEngland director Andrew Stokes. The overhaul comes after a report from VisitEngland last year found the UK’s destination marketing landscape was overcrowded. Stokes said the accreditation scheme aims to simplify this crowded environment, but he acknowledged VisitEngland was still ironing out the criteria with the government.
Meanwhile, the government will also choose an area for a pilot project, in which a tourist office – or group of local offices – will receive funding to operate under a new model for three years. Stokes said VisitEngland will be able to see how much of an impact a specific level of funding has on tourism development.