Today’s podcast looks at travel brands leaving Twitter, Choice’s latest Wyndham move, and questions about tourism in the Middle East.
Good morning from Skift. It’s Tuesday, November 28. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
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Choice Hotels is taking a bold step in its hostile takeover bid of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Choice is preparing to nominate directors to Wyndham’s board, according to Reuters, writes Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
Choice’s move is part of its plan to push its roughly $9.8 billion unsolicited merger between the two companies. Shareholders’ annual vote on board members would become a referendum on whether Choice and Wyndham must reopen deal talks. O’Neill notes Choice is taking those aggressive steps because Wyndham rebuffed Choice’s latest offer to restart merger talks last week.
Next, Expedia Group, Airbnb, and Uber are among major travel brands that have stopped advertising on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, reports Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.
Those moves come after X Executive Chairman Elon Musk endorsed another user’s post that was widely seen as antisemitic. Schaal writes critics have argued that antisemitic and anti-Muslim hate speech have increased on social media since Hamas’ attack against Israel last month.
Expedia Group declined to explain its reasoning for pausing advertising on X while Airbnb and Uber didn’t respond to Skift requests for comments.
The New York Times reported that X could lose $75 million from major brands discontinuing advertising on the platform. However, X said only $11 million was in jeopardy as other companies have increased their advertising.
Finally, ahead of next month’s Skift Global Forum East in Dubai, Middle East Reporter Josh Corder lists five questions about the Middle East travel industry he’s eager to get answers to.
Corder writes he’s excited to find out from Dubai Tourism CEO Issam Kazim if its visitor boom can continue. The city was attracting roughly 17 million visitors annually prior to the pandemic, a figure it hopes to surpass this year. Corder also notes he’s interested in learning about how Dubai’s major hotel brands plan to make inroads outside of the region.