By Amanda Weston
Puerto Rico ー still recovering a full year after Hurricane Maria's lashing ー was the inspiration for travel insight company Skift's new foundation, according to the company's CEO.
"[We] saw the destruction and the recovery firsthand. Our whole team went," Rafat Ali, CEO of Skift, told Cheddar Friday.
The top names in travel gathered in New York this week for the Skift Global Forum to talk travel industry trends, and Ali's company unveiled its new Skift Foundation, which the CEO said will award grants to underfunded tourism destinations.
"We were very moved by it and said, 'We know what we need to do,' which is, let's create a Skift Foundation that ties up with under-resourced destinations like Puerto Rico and others that we can give either our services, our access to high-priced research which they may or may not be able to afford, to our services, marketing, design. We know the best practices in travel," he said.
The new foundation is not the only headline from this year's forum.
Delta ($DAL) CEO Ed Bastian said on Friday that free in-flight Wi-Fi is on the way.
Bastian did not provide an exact date for when the service might debut, but said a new wireless entertainment system is currently in testing mode on new Airbus A220 planes.
Skift reported that JetBlue ($JBLU) is currently the only large, U.S.-based airline that offers free in-flight Wi-Fi.
On the ground, Hyatt Hotels ($H) CEO Mark Hoplamazian announced Thursday the company will ban hate groups from its properties.
"That’s really where we need to draw the line," he said. "We’re going to apply our values to making these decisions along the way."
Hoplamazian and other industry CEOs met with President Trump earlier this month to discuss the importance of international travel.
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