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Travel Will Slow in 2024, But That’s Not Bad News

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Skift Take

Today’s podcast looks at tourism in 2024, Airbnb’s New York critique, and Spirit’s uncertain future.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, January 19. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

The travel industry has gone from deep struggles during Covid to a major boom, with the high demand for “revenge travel.” So what’s in store for travel in 2024? Skift Research believes the industry will return to normal, writes Head of Research Seth Borko.

Skift Research said in its newly published 2024 Global Travel Outlook that revenue growth for the travel industry will likely decelerate. However, Borko writes the slowdown isn’t a sign of weakness. He adds that economic conditions appear poised to support further spending and that consumers increasingly prioritize travel. 

Next, Airbnb argues that New York City hasn’t delivered on the benefits it promised residents after it enacted a de facto ban on short-term rentals in the city, writes Executive Editor Dennis Schaal. 

New York City enacted the law, which requires hosts be present for stays shorter than 30 days, as part of its efforts to increase housing availability and lower rents.

Taylor Marr, Airbnb’s senior housing economist, said there’s been no discernable increase in available rental supply since the city’s rules went into effect last September. In addition, rents in New York City rose roughly 2% in December. 

Finally, Spirit Airlines faces an uncertain future following a federal judge’s decision to block its proposed merger with JetBlue Airways, writes Airlines Reporter Meghna Maharishi. 

Maharishi writes Spirit is on its own to deal with declining revenues and surging operating costs. The airline hasn’t turned a profit since 2019 and several analysts said it probably needs a buyer or another way to improve its financial situation. Spirit’s shares have dropped by nearly 70% since the judge’s ruling. 

Maharishi adds Frontier Airlines, which originally sought to merge with Spirit in 2022, could be a potential buyer. But some industry analysts believe it may be difficult for Frontier to launch a bid since it’s also in a financially weaker state compared to two years ago. 

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