Carnival Cruises toward a better revenue season

Skift grip

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast examines Carnival’s top earnings, Hong Kong’s high cost for business travelers and Traveloka’s cash injection.

Rashaad Jordan

Hello from Skift. Today is Monday, October 3. Here’s what you need to know about the travel industry today.

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Episode Notes

Business travel agencies have booked trips to Hong Kong in large numbers after the recent lifting of the mandatory hotel quarantine. These companies are also finding that the cost of business travel to Hong Kong continues to rise, reports Matthew Parsons, business travel editor.

While airfares have fallen in most markets in 2020 and 2021, Parsons writes that business travel agency CWT has seen the opposite happen in Hong Kong as well as Singapore. Akshay Kapoor, CWT’s Asia-Pacific sales manager, said the agency doesn’t believe the factors behind the rise in airfares and hotel prices will go away in the near future. Air fares in Hong Kong are expected to rise 24% this year and 4% in 2023.

Meanwhile, Parsons adds that rising business travel costs should prompt companies to prepare for China already to ease travel restrictions significantly. Kapoor predicts business travel demand to China will increase significantly once the country lifts quarantine requirements for international travelers.

Next, Carnival Corporation reported a surge in third-quarter bookings during its earnings call on Friday, which the cruise line attributed to the relaxation of its Covid protocols, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.

Carnival CEO Josh Weinstein said the company saw more bookings in the third quarter than during the same period in 2019. The cruise line also saw onboard revenue rise significantly from pre-pandemic levels. Carnival announced in August that vaccinated passengers no longer had to test negative to board while unvaccinated passengers would be allowed to board with a negative Covid test.

But despite an 80% increase in revenue from the second quarter, Carnival lost nearly $700 million in the third quarter.

Finally, Traveloka, Indonesia’s first online travel agency, has received a huge boost in its drive to create more digital products. The company secured $300 million in new funding, reports Asia editor Peden Doma Bhutia.

The Indonesia Investment Authority – along with global financial institutions such as BlackRock and Allianz Global Investors – led the funding round. Traveloka was looking to raise more than $200 million, having raised $1.2 billion in funding in six rounds. Online travel agencies in Indonesia are expected to see their share of tourism bookings in the country increase, writes Bhutia.

Traveloka’s chief marketing officer, Shirley Lesmana, said in a recent keynote at the Skift Global Forum in New York that the pandemic has accelerated the need for her to create more digital products. She added that Traveloka is working to improve its payment infrastructure.

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