Berlin locals have their say about tourists

quick take

Today’s edition of Skift’s daily podcast looks at Berlin’s use of local query, the likely new owner of ITA Airlines, and what Google is saying about cheap flights.

Rashaad Jordan

Good morning from Skift. It’s Thursday, September 1. Here’s what you need to know about the travel business today.

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episode notes

Berlin is giving its residents a formal voice in the city’s tourism development in another sign of how destinations are embracing locals. The German capital has unveiled a new initiative called the Citizens Advisory Council that gives locals an important voice in the city’s tourism marketing, writes global tourism reporter Dawit Habtemariam.

The independent council, which is expected to meet four times a year, will include two selected representatives from each of Berlin’s 12 districts. Those representatives will provide information on such things as which groups to target for marketing and how to present the city’s neighborhoods. Habtemariam writes that the council’s creation highlights a Skift megatrend of greater community involvement in tourism management.

The citizen council was expected to launch in 2020 but was delayed due to the pandemic.

We turn next to the big news in the world of European airline consolidation. An Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines consortium is in a prime position to buy Italy’s state-owned carrier ITA Airlines, reports Edward Russell, publisher of Airline Weekly, a Skift brand.

Italian officials announced on Wednesday that they have opened exclusive negotiations with Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines, as well as with US private equity firm Certares, the consortium’s leader. Certares would provide the seed capital, while Air France-KLM and Delta would act as business partners. The Italian government had also been considering a competitive bid from the Lufthansa Group and shipping giant MSC.

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Air France-KLM and Delta aim to make further inroads into Italy, the European Union’s fourth-largest airline market. Although ITA is no longer Italy’s largest airline, it does control key slots at Milan and Rome airports.

Finally, five years of Google airfare data has found that flights leaving on weekdays are significantly less expensive than those leaving on weekends, reports executive editor Dennis Schaal.

Google published the results of its airfare research on Wednesday, which revealed that getaway flights are 12 percent cheaper on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday than on a weekend. That figure jumps to 20 percent when only U.S. domestic flights are considered. Google also found that Sunday is on average the most expensive day to fly.

Schaal adds that Google’s research revealed that there really isn’t a cheaper day to book flights. But booking flights on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday has been on average 2 percent cheaper than doing it on the weekend.

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