Returns for uneven and unreliable business trips

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Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast covers the resurgence of business travel, tipping in hotels, and OYO’s possible IPO in 2023.

Rashard Jorden

Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, September 20th. Here’s what you need to know about the travel business today.

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episode notes

Business travel is expected to eventually fully recover, with more companies sending their employees out on the road. But corporate travel editor Matthew Parsons reports that it’s unclear when the sector will return to pre-pandemic levels amid great uncertainty.

The Global Business Travel Association projects annual corporate travel spending to reach $1.4 trillion pre-corona by mid-2026, but Parsons predicts a recovery in demand for business travel for corporate CEOs. I write that it is difficult to However, companies such as his CWT, a corporate travel agency, are optimistic about the sector’s steady recovery.

But Parsons said it’s hard to predict which types of companies will travel more. He named Google as one of the latest companies to announce that it will only approve travel deemed essential to the company’s operations. In addition, with airfare and hotel prices rising, companies have to justify sending more staff.

Second, hotel housekeeping staff have been hit hard by the recent reduction in daily housekeeping services, limiting their opportunities to receive tips. Contributor Carley Thornell reports that tipping is becoming an important issue for hotels.

Thornell wrote that guests were tipping less frequently, with one union leader saying stagnant wages in the hotel industry were hurting workers heavily dependent on tipping. The big hotels in the US are still struggling with a shortage of workers. Brands such as Hilton are reducing or eliminating daily housekeeping amid skyrocketing room rates.

However, companies such as Wyndham Hotels & Resorts offer guests more options for tipping hotel staff. Wyndham last week unveiled a cashless platform for franchisees in the United States and Canada. This allows a guest to tip a specific hotel staff member via her QR code. Thornell also named his Revere Hotel in Boston as another establishment that has a program that makes it easier to accept tips.

Finally, India-based budget hotel operator Oyo is aiming to go public by early next year, reports Asia editor Peden Doma Bhutia.

Oyo aims to file initial public offering documents with Indian regulators in 2021 to raise $1.1 billion. The company’s public debut was delayed as it sought permission to update its IPO prospectus with new financial results. Bhutia wrote that Oyo is confident of a successful IPO due to the rebound in domestic travel in India, citing the company’s strong foothold in India as a key reason for the recent recovery.