The Hotel as Cultural Diplomacy: More Important Than Ever Going Forward

The Royal Mansour Hotel

The lobby of the Royal Mansour Hotel in Marrakech, Morocco. The Royal Mansour Hotel

Skift Take: Cultural diplomacy is often found in museums and cultural initiatives. It is seldom found in hotels. The Royal Mansour in Marrakech was a statement of intent from the king to show the best of the country’s craft and service. The result is impactful, especially in these times — perhaps more so than other means of country branding.

— Colin Nagy

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The $600 Check Gap and 11 Other Coronavirus Travel Stories This Week

Mack Male  /

Food handed out at the a food bank in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada as seen on February 16, 2016. Some unemployed travel workers struggle to make ends meet as a supplemental $600 unemployment check from the federal government ceases being sent. Mack Male /

Skift Take: In coronavirus-related travel stories this week, Skift covered how the end of a $600 supplemental unemployment check impacts out-of-work travel employees, Disney Parks’ lost year, the prospect of an IHG default, and how Vrbo addressed its Google problem.

— Dennis Schaal

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Why Hilton and Other Hotels May Not Like This Joe Biden Tax Proposal

Hennem08  / Wikimedia

The 1031 exchange is a popular real estate investor tool used to defer taxes on the sales of hotels like the Waldorf Astoria (pictured) by trading up for new ones. Hennem08 / Wikimedia

Skift Take: The so-called 1031 exchanges are tax deferrals on profitable real estate that, at face value, seem like a no-brainer to repeal and generate revenue. But the coronavirus pandemic’s negative impact on hotel building values should cause Washington to reconsider eliminating the provision.

— Cameron Sperance

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Wyndham Plans to Woo Independent Hoteliers Closer to When the Bills Come Due

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Wyndham executives expect a wave of new franchise agreements to come later this year, as independent hotel lenders look to position assets for stronger brand awareness. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Skift Take: Wyndham isn’t hiding its plan to capitalize on distressed independent hotels and add them to the brand portfolio, but the hotel company can’t ignore the problem of rising coronavirus cases in markets that led the U.S. into a travel recovery.

— Cameron Sperance

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