Marriott and Hilton Comparisons

Skift Take

Today’s podcast looks at Marriott and Hilton’s top annual report takeaways, Airbnb’s artificial intelligence pathway to new verticals, and American Express’ new largest Centurion Lounge.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, February 15. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel.

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Episode Notes

Marriott and Hilton have both released their annual financial reports for 2023. Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill lists 12 noteworthy takeaways after comparing the companies’ 10-K filings. 

The two hotel giants have a rivalry in terms of loyalty program membership numbers. Marriott currently has roughly 16 million more loyalty program members than Hilton. But O’Neill notes Hilton could overtake Marriott in 2025 if the two companies maintain their most recent growth rates this year. 

O’Neill adds that both companies were considerably more profitable in 2023 than they were six years prior. 

Next, Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky believes the company can create a new artificial intelligence interface that will help transform it into a cross-vertical company, writes Executive Editor Dennis Schaal.  

Chesky said the planned interface could be one of the most innovative ever created. He added that it would enable Airbnb to become a cross-vertical company: Think Amazon when it expanded beyond books and Apple when it launched the app store. Chesky also said Airbnb would make announcements later this year regarding new products and services.  

Finally, American Express has opened the world’s largest Centurion Lounge at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, writes Airlines Editor Gordon Smith.

The 26,000-square foot lounge, which includes indoor and outdoor areas, is American Express’ latest effort to target high-spending travelers. It also includes a whiskey bar serving cocktails designed by Centurion’s mixologist. American Express Travel President Audrey Hendley said a new Atlanta lounge was a major priority for the company.  

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