Kingdom’s Retail Queen Lays Out Thai Tourism Truths That Others Only Whisper

aotaro  / Flickr

Night market in Bangkok. Culture is good, but more attractions would be great. aotaro / Flickr

Skift Take: It takes a retail personality to air the dirty laundry of Thai tourism. No one will be offended; it’s all an open secret. Plus Supaluck Umpujh, at least, is doing something about it, partnering with AEG to make Thailand a regional entertainment hub.

— Raini Hamdi

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Drone Incidents at Gatwick Cost EasyJet $12.9 Million in Revenue in December

Bloomberg

EasyJet planes as seen from above. The carrier said the drone incident at London Gatwick airport cost it $12.9 million. Bloomberg

Skift Take: EasyJet was sitting pretty last year after the demise of some of its rivals, but it is finding things much tougher now. Airfares are falling, and although the threat of a disorderly Brexit is having little impact at the moment, that might change as March 29 gets closer.

— Patrick Whyte

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Travel Brand Debt: Who’s Liquid, Who Could Feel the Pain

Bloomberg

Debt versus cash on hand. Companies have to calculate the advantages and disadvantages of their leverage, especially if a recession hits. Bloomberg

Skift Take: When it comes to their debt, easyJet has a much more liquid position than Ryanair, while United and Delta have a lighter debt burden relatively speaking than American Airlines. In the event of a recession, debt loads would be one critical factor among many in hamstringing or contributing to a company’s ability to maneuver.

— Dennis Schaal

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French Riviera road trip! Cute villages in the South of France

Come along as we road trip through the south of France with Renault Eurodrive! We explore the beautiful seaside cities of Cannes and Nice, and small mountain villages such as Grasse, Biot, Mougins, and Saint-Paul de Vence. We also check out the incredible Rothschild Villa to take in the gardens and the amazing views of the French Riviera.

🚘 Learn more about Renault Eurodrive: http://bit.ly/2QtoeRl

Global Tourism Growth Slowed in 2018 But Arrivals Still Hit 1.4 Billion

hey tiffany!  / Flickr

The Bimmah Sinkhole in Muscat, Oman is shown in this photo from April of 2018. International tourist arrivals grew 10 percent in the Middle East last year. hey tiffany! / Flickr

Skift Take: Travelers are still exploring the world, but growth has cooled slightly. Will 2019 bring a further slowdown, or will the appetite for international travel keep surprising experts?

— Hannah Sampson

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TSA Airport Screener Absences Reach 10 Percent as Shutdown Drags On

Bloomberg

TSA screeners aren’t being paid through the government shutdown. Many are no longer coming to work. Bloomberg

Skift Take: Except at a few U.S. airports, lines have been moving quickly, despite fewer screeners showing up. But this can’t last forever. Ten percent of all screeners didn’t come to work on Sunday, and that number is increasing each day. Things could get bad.

— Brian Sumers

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Luxury Travelers Are Paying Premium Prices to Stay in Unheated Igloo Hotels

Iglu-Dorf

The Gstaad Igloo Village in Switzerland. Iglu-Dorf

Skift Take: These igloo villages are in the Swiss Alps, with snow tunnels connecting the huts to a sauna, hot tub, and an icy dining room. The rooms — including all the furniture – are carved entirely out of snow, and it’s so cold most travelers only stay for one night. Well, these stays certainly fit into the experiences trend.

— Isaac Carey

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