Today’s podcast looks at Taylor Swift’s travel impact, Hilton’s new growth idea, and short-term rentals in Las Vegas.
Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, February 8. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
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Taylor Swift’s massive influence on U.S. culture and the economy isn’t slowing down anytime soon. And as her ongoing Eras Tour continues to pack stadiums and boost tourism worldwide, Editor-in-Chief Sarah Kopit explains why Swift might be the most powerful person in travel.
Swift’s impact on the travel sector is vast, with major influence over tourism dollars, hospitality spending and the short-term rental market.
Kopit notes that each Swift concert has the economic impact of the Super Bowl – and it’s not just once a year. U.S. cities hosting a Eras Tour concert have seen their monthly hotel room revenue jump more than 7% on average. In addition, one short-rental executive said the Eras Tour has been responsible for double-digit increases in occupancy and average daily rates.
Skift Research estimates the tour generated an incremental $1.2 billion for the U.S. travel industry in 2023 across flights, hotels, short-term rentals and other expenditures.
Next, Hilton is considering making acquisitions, a shift from its longtime strategy of creating brands internally, writes Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill.
Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta said the current economic environment might be more conducive for acquisitions. O’Neill notes rumors have surfaced that Hilton is in talks to acquire both Graduate Hotels and NoMad Hotels, a luxury lifestyle hotels brand. Nassetta said Hilton intends to enter the luxury lifestyle sector this year.
Finally, the upcoming Super Bowl between the San Francisco Chiefs and Kansas City Chiefs is driving a surge in short-term rental rates in Las Vegas, writes Short-Term Rental Reporter Srividya Kalyanaraman.
Short-term rental demand in Las Vegas from February 9 to 11 is 87% higher than the same period in 2023, according to AirDNA. Kalyanaraman adds that average daily rates have increased 51% from last year. Meanwhile, searches for Airbnb rentals in the Las Vegas area during Super Bowl week have jumped 65% compared to the same period last year.