Japan Weighs Ban on Overseas Spectators for Tokyo Olympics


The Tokyo Olympic Games are scheduled to begin in late July. The organizing committee is considering barring international spectators from attending the games due to the pandemic. Reuters

Skift Take: The Olympics games are set to begin in less than five months, but the spread of new coronavirus variants worldwide is worrying organizers. A ban would disappoint hundreds of thousands of expected spectators, but might be a good public health decision.

— Sean O’Neill

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Meet the Newly Confirmed Commerce Secretary Who Will Lead U.S. Travel Jobs Recovery

Casino Connection  / Flickr

Newly confirmed Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will have to tackle a travel economy in the U.S. devastated by job losses. Casino Connection / Flickr

Skift Take: To say that former Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo faces a tall task is an understatement. Nearly 40 percent of the U.S. jobs lost in the pandemic came from leisure and hospitality.

— Tom Lowry

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Philippines Faces Staggering Road to Recovery as Southeast Asia’s Most Tourism-Dependent Destination

Jeff Jacinto  / Flickr

Jeepneys in the Philippines: When will they carry tourists again? Jeff Jacinto / Flickr

Skift Take: As the Southeast Asian country that depends the most on tourism, the Philippines will have to work doubly hard to shed its underachiever image in the post-pandemic world.

— Raini Hamdi

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Is Travel a Right or a Privilege Post-Covid? The Skift Team Discusses

Bing Hui Yau  / Unsplash

Travel aspirations are fueling a lot of important conversations about travels recovery. Bing Hui Yau / Unsplash

Skift Take: Our collective aspirations to travel are fueling a lot of important conversations about a recovery, and what travel should be about on the other side. Read the Skift team’s back-and-forth on these topics around our virtual water cooler from Wednesday afternoon.

— Tom Lowry

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U.S. Hotel Jobs Recovery Stalls, Unemployment Rises

Elizabeth Backus  / Flickr

The U.S. hotel unemployment rate jumped more than 4 percent in January due to a longer-than-expected travel recovery. Elizabeth Backus / Flickr

Skift Take: The slow winter travel season, delayed vaccination schedules, and people giving up on hotel jobs are pushing the hospitality sector unemployment figures up once again. More vaccines can speed up the recovery (the industry hopes).

— Cameron Sperance

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Greek Tourism Will Rebound This Summer: Prime Minister


Two sets of couples using selfie sticks at the Acropolis during pre-pandemic times in Athens, Greece. Skift

Skift Take: Who knows what the next few months have in store, but the PM is right about one thing: any success in the tourism sector is entirely dependent on an effective vaccine rollout in Greece’s feeder markets.

— Jason Clampet

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Loyalty Goes Both Ways in a Pandemic When Airlines Exit Markets


After announcing its exit from long-haul flights due to the pandemic, Norwegian Air on Monday issued a pause to its frequent flyer loyalty reward program affecting millions of passengers worldwide. Skift

Skift Take: Many global airlines have reduced long-haul flights or exited markets altogether due to the pandemic, but more often than not their loyalty points have an expiration date. Now is a really good time for airlines to put customers first and adjust their valuable currency — or risk losing their loyalty.

— Ruthy Muñoz

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