Marriott and Airbnb take aim at each other’s markets
Both Marriott and Airbnb recently unveiled new strategies that will provide some surprisingly new competition. Marriott said it plans on entering the home-rental business by offering accommodations at 2,000 high-end residences in over 100 markets in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. All homes will be operated by a professional management company and will include Wi-Fi, professional cleaning and 24-7 support. Members of Marriott’s Bonvoy loyalty program will be able to earn and redeem points at all residences offered by Homes & Villas by Marriot.
Meanwhile, Airbnb revealed that it is partnering with New York City developer RXR Realty to offer hybrid apartment-hotel accommodations. The first units to be made available under this new product will be located at 75 Rockefeller Plaza in midtown Manhattan. The apartment-style suites will offer hotel type features including a lobby area with check-in and checkout services, an onsite business center, restaurant and bar. The units will be operated by RXR and will be listed on Airbnb’s platform. Further expansion is expected including RXR’s 47 Hall Street development in Clinton Hill Brooklyn.
TSA adds Qatar Airways and Edelweiss Air to PreCheck program
Both Qatar Airways and Edelweiss Air have been approved by the Transportation Security Administration for inclusion in its PreCheck trusted traveler program. There are now 67 airlines participating in the PreCheck program. Qatar operates flights to/from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and Washington. Zurich-based Edelweiss offers service to/from Denver, Las Vegas, Orlando, San Diego and Tampa. For a complete list of participating airlines please visit https://www.tsa.gov/precheck/participating-airlines.
U.S. raises travel warning level for Sri Lanka
Following a series of terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, the U.S. State Department raised its travel warning level. Initially it was moved up to a Level 2, “Exercise Increased Caution” However the Department has now upped it to a Level 3 “reconsider travel to Sri Lanka due to terrorism.” The U.S. warns that the terrorist threat in Sri Lanka remains as active members of the group that carried out the suicide attacks on Easter Sunday may still be at large.