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Brand USA Names New CEO

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Skift Take

Today’s podcast looks at Brand USA’s new leadership, Hilton’s new acquisition, and Air India’s new loyalty program.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, April 4. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

Brand USA will have a new president and CEO soon. NYC Tourism + Conventions CEO Fred Dixon will lead the U.S.’ destination marketing organization starting July 15, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam. 

Dixon, a veteran of the travel industry, will be tasked with helping the U.S. tourism industry make a full recovery from the pandemic. Long visitor visa wait times and the U.S.’ outdated air infrastructure have posed challenges for Brand USA. Dixon comes to Brand USA after having helped NYC secure $30 million in funds to market itself after the pandemic. 

Next, Hilton has acquired a majority controlling interest in Sydell Group, the owner of NoMad Hotels, reports Senior Hospitality Editor Sean O’Neill. 

Sydell will design, brand and manage the NoMad brand while Hilton will take the lead in working to get more NoMad hotels created. Hilton expects to build up to 100 NoMad hotels. NoMad, which currently has properties in Las Vegas and London in its portfolio, will join Hilton’s rewards program. 

Hilton’s acquisition of NoMad Hotels comes after it announced last month it would buy Graduate Hotels for $210 million.  

Finally, Air India has completely transformed its loyalty program, writes Contributor Ajay Awtaney. 

Awtaney lists six major changes the company has made to its loyalty program. Air India will now award points to customers based on the fare paid instead of the distance traveled. In addition, Air India will keep any unredeemed points alive provided the loyalty program member flies with the company every two years. Under the previous system, unredeemed points expired three years after they were earned. 

Air India has also simplified the loyalty program’s status tiers. Awtaney notes Air India’s loyalty program is considered the toughest in India to achieve status. 

Presenter/Producer: Jane Alexander

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