Hotels Near and Far Attempt to Capitalize on the Upcoming Royal Wedding

Ian Watson  / USA Network via Associated Press

This image released by USA Network shows a wedding scene from the “Good-Bye” episode of “Suits.” Meghan Markle’s character dreams of getting married at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, though the scene was filmed at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto. Both hotels are hosting royal-themed events in honor of Markle’s wedding to Prince Harry. Ian Watson / USA Network via Associated Press

Skift Take: It’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves since the beginning of time, but does anyone honestly ever actually book any of these themed hotel packages? And why do hotels still insist on creating them?

— Deanna Ting

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Ryan Wolkov

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Gol’s CEO Remains Optimistic Despite Choppiness in the Brazilian Market

Andrew W. Sieber  / Flickr

The CEO of Brazil’s Gol Airlines is bullish on the carrier’s future. Pictured is one of Gol’s Boeing 737-800s. Andrew W. Sieber / Flickr

Skift Take: Airline CEOs are paid to be optimistic even when their stock price drops 20 percent in a short period. But there are reasons to believe Brazil’s Gol will bounce back, and that this will be a short-term blip.

— Brian Sumers

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In-Flight Entertainment Company Panasonic Will Pay $280 Million To Settle Corruption Claims

Bloomberg

Panasonic Corp. will pay roughly $280 million to settle U.S. allegations that executives at its in-flight-entertainment group improperly hid payments to consultants. Bloomberg

Skift Take: Who knew airline in-flight entertainment was such a juicy business filled with no-show consulting contracts?

— Brian Sumers

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Lavish Whistler Housing Market Squeezes Tourism Workers

Natalie Obiko Pearson  / Bloomberg

Residences in Whistler, Canada, pictured here, are some of the most expensive in the country and are pricing out locals. Natalie Obiko Pearson / Bloomberg

Skift Take: Ski resorts from Switzerland to Whistler are at odds with their local populations and it’s an unfortunate trend that plays out at other types of resorts, too. Some employers are offering their staff housing to cope with high costs of living, but is that approach effective for long-term economic development?

— Dan Peltier

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Etihad Plans to Stay a Major Global Carrier Despite Financial Woes

Bloomberg

New Etihad Airway CEO Tony Douglas is determined not to let the airline be reduced from a major global carrier to a “boutique” airline. Bloomberg

Skift Take: It’s safe to say that turbulent times remain for the troubled airline. If Etihad still wants to be a major player, the carrier needs to figure out how to do that and still make money.

— Deanna Ting

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Travel Management Companies Try to Keep Pace with Today’s Changing Business Traveler

Skift Take: The growing consumerization of business travel is pushing more employees to book outside company policy. Expedia Affiliate Network’s new report, which examines the impact of this trend on travel management companies, suggests that improving booking choices and offering better tools will help boost employee compliance.

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Marriott Vacations Snaps Up ILG for $4.7 Billion

Vistana/ILG

Sheraton Vistana Villages in Orlando, part of the Starwood Vistana/ILG

Skift Take: Marriott Vacations saw an opportunity as ILG faced activist pressure to find a partner. The result: A $4.7 billion acquisition announced Monday by Marriott. For Marriott, it was a smart loyalty move as the company consolidates its loyalty programs. Remember that ILG has Starwood timeshare programs in its fold now.

— Tom Lowry

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Lyft Continues to Gain Ground in Business Travel Ground Transportation

Lyft

A promotional image from Lyft. Lyft is slowing gaining traction among business travelers. Lyft

Skift Take: Beyond the Uber and Lyft drama here, the deeper trend seems to be companies and travel managers allowing business travelers to make their own choices about which ground transportation option they prefer. This represents a major change from how things used to be, and it is good news for the industry.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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Apple Leisure Group CEO Says Mark Travel Merger Is Win-Win for Travel Agents

JJBers  / Flickr

Travel agencies like this Liberty Travel store in Warwick, Rhode Island, will be better positioned with the Apple Leisure Group-Mark Travel merger, Apple Leisure’s CEO argues. JJBers / Flickr

Skift Take: Many travel agents will have the benefit of selling a wider variety of packages from one distribution channel because of this deal, but will this industry giant really want to give travel agents, and their clients, the best rates if agents don’t have anywhere else to turn? Time will tell.

— Dan Peltier

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