The Solar Eclipse Tourists Gather in April

Skift Take

Today’s podcast looks at solar eclipse tourism, slower pilot hiring in the U.S., and the latest most expensive hotel in Dubai.

Good morning from Skift. It’s Wednesday, March 13. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.

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Episode Notes

A total solar eclipse will pass diagonally across the U.S. on April 8, a development that’s poised to spark a tourism surge. So are destinations prepared to take advantage of the visitor boom? Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam examines the issue. 

The eclipse will cross the country from the south to the east, touching roughly a dozen states. Habtemariam cites Niagara Falls, New York as one destination expecting to see large crowds for the eclipse. A local tourism executive said the region is expecting 1 million visitors. In addition, domestic flight bookings for cities where viewers can see the full eclipse have increased fourfold from April 1 to 7 last year. 

However, Habtemariam notes communities will have set aside massive resources to serve the large number of projected visitors. One Texas country has already declared a state of emergency ahead of the eclipse due to concerns about the impact on local infrastructure. 

Next, airlines went on a hiring spree after the pandemic to address the labor shortage that had plagued the industry. However, that hiring surge could be ending, writes Airlines Reporter Meghna Maharishi.

Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan said there even could be job cuts. He cited Boeing delivery delays and the demand for airline jobs returning to pre-Covid levels as reasons hiring has plateaued. 

Maharishi notes Southwest isn’t the only airline to slow pilot hiring. United Airlines recently told staff it’s planning to pause pilot hiring this spring due to delivery issues with the Max 10. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines is slowing pilot hiring in 2024 with job demand in the industry starting to level off. 

Finally, Middle East Reporter Josh Corder profiles the Aman Dubai, which could be the most expensive hotel in the United Arab Emirates. 

Aman Resorts CEO Vlad Doronin made the claim at the hotel’s unveiling this week. Corder notes Aman Dubai, which is scheduled to open in 2027, will have a 350-meter private beach and its own members-only club, among other features. While it’s uncertain how many rooms the property will have, Doronin said that Aman’s city hotels don’t exceed 90 rooms. 

Producer/Presenter: Jose Marmolejos

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