Rafat Ali, CEO, Skift: Where is Travel Going Next?
As humans, we crave travel. It connects us to each other and the world around us. Or, as Rafat Ali, founder and CEO of Skift, a leading travel media company, puts it, “Travel as a human need is the default human condition.” But during the pandemic, that need went unfulfilled. Our ability to fly on an airplane, hop in an Uber, or stay in a hotel was drastically limited, if not put on pause. Now, travel is coming back…but just a little bit different. And that raises new questions for both the industry and travelers. Rafat joins the podcast to discuss how the pandemic has both accelerated existing trends and forced a break from the norms of the past — and what the future of travel means for the world.
Listen to this episode to learn:
How Skift takes an “outside in” approach to understanding changing travel behaviors and connects the dots to what it means for the travel industry
Lessons from the 2021 Skift Global Forum, and predictions from the CEOs of Airbnb, Hilton, and Uber about the future of travel
Why embracing flexibility for their customers and pivoting their core business (i.e., becoming cargo carriers) helped airlines survive the pandemic (along with big government subsidies)
How airports are redesigning their experience through the customers’ lens — from elevated food options to biometrics and “contactless” check-ins
Why we’re seeing a boom in domestic travel and how travelers’ rediscovery of the outdoors and local areas is helping small businesses thrive
How the hotel guest experience has changed as a result of the pandemic (and why your room might not get serviced daily ever again)
Google’s new sustainability scores, sustainable aviation fuel, and ways in which the travel and hospitality industries are approaching “sustainability”
Mary Barra, Chair and CEO, General Motors: On The Road to an All-Electric Future
Listen to this episode to learn:
- The factors that will influence customers’ decisions to purchase electric vehicles
- Why utility vehicles like Hummer EV can attract new customer groups who might have dismissed EVs in the past
- How GM’s famous “dress appropriately” dress code — simplified by Barra when she was formerly the company’s VP of HR — inspired the company’s new “work appropriately” post-pandemic philosophy
- Why culture change starts with values and behaviors — and holding everyone accountable (including CEOs!)
- GM’s vision to “create a world with zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion”
- Barra’s advice on leadership and why women should never be afraid to speak up and have a point of view
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