Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at fee fatigue in the White House, Cyprus’ post-Russian tourism scene, and a curator with a challenging message in Ohio.
Good morning from Skift. It’s Friday, February 3. Here’s what you need to know about the business of travel today.
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President Joe Biden is urging hotels and airlines to abolish so-called junk fees, charges that aren’t disclosed to travelers upfront. That’s part of the U.S. government’s increased efforts to protect consumers, writes Travel Experiences Reporter Selene Brophy.
Brophy reports the White House wants certain flight and hotel charges banned, with Biden blasting companies that have built business models on what he described as frustrating charges. The Biden administration is also calling on Congress to ban airlines from charging family-seating fees. Brophy notes that budget carriers have been known to charge parents for the right to sit with their young children on flights.
The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a proposal last September requiring airlines to disclose fees for baggage and ticket changes the first time an airfare is displayed.
Next, Cyprus’ travel industry has been hit hard by the absence of Russian visitors since the start of the war in Ukraine. So the Mediterranean island is focusing on adopting a more sustainable approach to tourism, writes Global Tourism Reporter Dawit Habtemariam.
Habtemariam reports the loss of Russian travelers accelerated Cyprus’ pre-pandemic plans to diversify its visitor markets and develop a strategy for sustainable tourism. Cyprus banned Russian flights to the island in response to its invasion of Ukraine. Cypriot authorities said the country had to attract tourists from more markets after Russian visitation to Cyprus hit its peak in 2019. The country’s focus on marketing itself as a sun and sea destination was also putting it on a path to overtourism.
Habtemariam writes that Cypriot tourism officials are now heavily promoting its lesser known villages, several of which have seen a surge in tourist arrivals. Cyprus has also gotten a boost in visitor numbers from Western Europe after budget carriers Wizz Air and Ryanair increased flights to the island.
We end today looking at a woman dedicated to educating the public about slavery’s shameful legacy in the U.S. Associate Editor Rashaad Jorden profiles Stephanie Lampkin, curator of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, for this month’s At Your Service feature on travel’s most noteworthy jobs.
Lampkin oversees the collections at the museum, which tells the story about the secret network that helped slaves find freedom during the 18th century. She said it’s more important than ever to explain how the legacy of slavery is responsible for issues still plaguing the U.S., with a growing number of states aiming to restrict the teaching of African-American history. While Lampkin admitted her feelings upon seeing materials used by slaves are complex, she added that telling the truth about U.S. history can be a form of healing.
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