Trip Ventures at The Skift Global Forum: The Golden Age of Travel Is Here.

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By Clara Lucio, Head of Marketing at Trip Ventures

We’re riding the Skift Global Forum Wave! 

So much momentum stemmed from the experience. We’ve recapped the themes and highlights that left us feeling positive, energized, and ready to take on what’s next. 

The Industry Is Resilient and Ready For Anything 

Rebuilding after massive setbacks is painful and difficult. Leaders in Ukraine and Puerto Rico showed us how they’re turning two very different tragedies into opportunities. 

#BeBraveSupportUkraine: Chairperson of the State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine, Mariana Oleskiv, discussed Ukraine’s recovery and the key infrastructural projects the country is prioritizing to build a better future. The country’s initiatives include a new “free trade zone” between GUAM countries (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova) focusing on building stronger cooperation. Mariana was bold and confident. Her energy was palpable, and she received a standing ovation from the attendees. 

Discover Puerto Rico’s CMO, Leah Chandler, discussed that while Puerto Rico may be temporarily down, it is not out. Local organizations and DMOs are working hard to rebuild the island’s recent double-digit tourist growth. Puerto Rico is becoming a global example in tourist innovation by leveraging new post-pandemic opportunities like more regularly programmed offsite meetings. Initiatives like #MakeYourMeetingBoricua cater to organizations looking to host a corporate retreat with a flavorful twist. 

In a beautiful reference, Leah noted: 

“Our losses are less than our will to continue”.

Leah Chandler on stage at the Skift Global Forum.

The audience was visibly moved by the resilience these leaders displayed despite the radically different circumstances surrounding their challenges. 

The Industry Is Optimistic 

It’s natural for looming economic uncertainties to make global industries uneasy. While opinions varied on the recession’s impact on travel, the overall sentiment was positive. Leaders were confident in our industry’s ability to grow successfully and ride this next wave. 

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky believes we’re seeing a travel rebound greater than we’ve seen since WWII. He mentioned that all of the pre-pandemic business is returning to the platform, even though post-pandemic trends driving new ways customers use the platform. 

The CEO of IHG, Keith Barr, reminded attendees that the stock market is not the economy and that many priority markets, like the Americas, remain strong. Amanda Hite, President of STR, a leader in data intelligence and global benchmarking in the hospitality industry, mentioned that a competitive labor market and growing wages are positive indicators for travel demand. She remains optimistic about global growth and trends for both airlines and hotels. 

Sustainability Is Driving the Future 

From tech to transportation to hospitality, the industry is making a concerted effort to become more sustainable and make travel a source for good. 

Google Travel VP and GM, Richard Holden, announced that Google Travel is rolling out new features that allow travelers to filter around sustainable searches. These include better filters around eco-friendly flights and, improved train search options, a more sustainable form of transport. 

Senior VP of Opp initiatives, Jeff Nieman, discussed the surge in shared vehicle ownership and car rentals and the positive impact that will have on the planet by reducing the total number of cars on the road. Hertz is working on replacing the new cars available with zero-emission vehicles

Ronald Akili, the founder of Indonesian hospitality and lifestyle brand Potato Head, discussed “Uncompromising Sustainability.” He believes baking sustainability into the infrastructural design without compromising aesthetics, and customer service excellence is key to keeping customers engaged and driving systemic change. The hotel’s stunning visuals left us feeling inspired.

Potato Head Studios In Bali

While the world remains chaotic, there’s much to be excited about. We look forward to building on this incredibly potent momentum.