U.S. Tourism Brands Take Quick Advantage of New Rules to Sign Elite College Athletes to Endorsement Deals

TigerNet.com  / Flickr

College football stars at institutions like Boston College (left) and Clemson (right) will surely look to take advantage of any NIL opportunities. TigerNet.com / Flickr

Skift Take: Travel companies and destinations need to do extensive research and pay attention to more than the biggest sports — football and men’s basketball — to find the right athletes who will be worthy returns on the promotional investments.

— Rashaad Jorden

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Caribbean Returns to Lockdowns as Covid Spikes Amid Low Vaccination Rates

Jo Dasson  / Flickr

Martinique (pictured) is among the Caribbean destinations seeing a spike in Covid cases. Jo Dasson / Flickr

Skift Take: Hopes for a tourism recovery are being dashed in the Caribbean as vaccinations can’t keep pace with the spike in new Covid cases. It’s another example of why vaccine equity matters.

— Tom Lowry

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Discover Puerto Rico Becomes Marketer-For-Hire to Others

Courtesy of Discover Puerto Rico Studios  / Discover Puerto Rico

Discover Puerto Rico selling its creative services to third parties will diversify revenue and strengthen the destination’s brand. Courtesy of Discover Puerto Rico Studios / Discover Puerto Rico

Skift Take: It’s a win-win for the island’s destination marketing group and for its in-destination clients — but how many other tourism boards are ready to follow suit at this time?

— Lebawit Lily Girma

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Choice Hotels First Major Hotel Brand to Outperform Pre-Pandemic Levels

Choice Hotels International

Choice Hotels’ focus on leisure and drive-to travel across brands like Comfort (pictured) boosted the company to several financial wins in recent months. Choice Hotels International

Skift Take: Profitability is one thing, but out-performing 2019 is the genuine sign of a rebound. Choice Hotels is lucky to not have to worry as much about corporate travel and conventions as some of its competitors.

— Cameron Sperance

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Can a Downsized Regional Airline Relaunch in a Pandemic? ExpressJet Thinks It Can

ExpressJet Airlines

An ExpressJet Embraer 145 aircraft. ExpressJet hopes to resume flying in the third quarter. ExpressJet Airlines

Skift Take: Like Lazarus, regional carrier ExpressJet hopes to rise from the dead. Can the airline survive flying on its own during a pandemic with small jets? The airline almost pulled it off before, but can it do it again, or will history repeat itself?

— Angel Adegbesan

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Dear Travel Industry: Here Are 3 Ways You Can Address Vaccine Equity Now

Eric Hunsperger  / Flickr

Vaccine equity continues to fragment the industry’s recovery, but tourism big stakeholders as well as organizations have ways to act now. Eric Hunsperger / Flickr

Skift Take: By remaining silent on vaccine equity, the travel industry’s big players are as accountable as vaccine-hoarding governments for a deepening tourism divide. Intrepid Travel is setting an example — will others follow?

— Lebawit Lily Girma

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Norwegian Air Sees Spike in July Travelers Amidst Uncertain Prospects

Alan Wilson  / WikiMedia

A Norwegian Air Boeing 737-8 flying in Norway. The airline saw its aircraft in operation more than double to 33. Alan Wilson / WikiMedia

Skift Take: The travel recovery is completely dependent on traveler confidence, vaccine availability and easing of travel restrictions. Will all this be enough to turn things around for Norwegian or will the pandemic and competition prove to be too much?

— Ruthy Muñoz

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MGM Resorts Aiming to Be Online Gaming Leader Using Real Estate Proceeds

Hermann Luyken  / Wikimedia

MGM Resorts International roared back to profitability thanks to leisure traveler flocking back to Las Vegas casinos. Hermann Luyken / Wikimedia

Skift Take: Don’t call it leaving Las Vegas so much as MGM Resorts taking advantage of inflated real estate prices to get into your pocket, by way of the increasingly lucrative online gaming business.

— Cameron Sperance

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