59 – 2020 Skift Global Forum Special Edition


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In this special edition of the Suite Spot, we discuss the recent 2020 Skift Global Forum. Host Ryan Embree had the opportunity to virtually attend the event, which brought together some of the biggest names and brands in the travel industry. In this episode, Ryan shares his five biggest takeaways from the 3-day forum. Listen as he reveals the thoughts of CEOs from major hotel brands and OTAs as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Their insights guide the discussion on what the future of the hotel industry will look like moving forward and when we can expect to see full industry recovery. Suite Spot Podcast · 59 - 2020 Skift Global Forum Special Edition Episode Transcript Our podcast is produced as an audio resource. Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and human editing and may contain errors. Before republishing quotes, we ask that you reference the audio. Ryan Embree: Welcome to Suite Spot where hoteliers check-in and we check out what's trending in hotel marketing. I'm your host, Ryan Embree. Hello everyone, welcome to another episode of the Suite Spot. Today's episode is a special edition, as you've heard before at Travel Media Group, we like to attend all hospitality trade shows and events across the country. We've had some special episodes and special additions of the Suite Spot where we've talked about HITEC and we've talked about Lodging Conference. So, you know, we are at the forefront of all of these industry events and trying to share it with you, the listener, some of our insights and takeaways. So with 2020, there's been a slew of adjustments that these events have needed to taken, but fortunately, I have had the opportunity to attend Skift's Global Forum, which took place September 21st to the 23rd, 2020. Like most events across the country, this was done virtually, but it was a great event. There was a ton of industry leaders, guest speakers that were there, CEOs of major brands like IHG and Marriott, major players in OTAs: Booking.com, Expedia. Ryan Embree: So it was really just a great session on industry leaders kind of coming together and taking a look at where we're headed and what challenges hotels are facing right now in 2020 and going into 2021. So today what we're going to do for this episode is we are going to talk about five main takeaways that I got, the five themes really of the forum and kind of speak to some of what the guest speakers were talking about, to give you again, the listener, a good idea of where everyone's mindsets are, because that's what it is right now in 2020, is there is a lot of uncertainty out there and it takes events like this to really get us together to kind of paint a path forward. So the first big topic we're going to talk about that was brought up by nearly everyone on the panels and sessions that were presented was recovery. Ryan Embree: It was very interesting to hear everyone's input on what they thought about industry recovery timeline. They even would actually do polls during sessions to kind of figure out what the audience and attendees' thoughts were on some of these, and one of those was based around recovery. And the majority of people answered, what is the timeline for recovery, as saying that no one knows and it's not realistic to kind of guess right now. And I think that was the overall sentiment with the industry leaders that were talking during this. They were obviously very hopeful. You always have had that sentiment of hospitality strong. We're gonna come back stronger. Things are going to get better. We're going to recover. And you could hear that in some of the CEOs and brands that were speaking, but there was also that tone of it's going to take a long time. This is a recovery. I mean, we shut down, not only our countries, our states, our cities, we completely shut down our industry for an entire month. So it's not going to be something that we can just kind of jump back into right away.