Powering Travel, brought to you by Expedia Group

Join hosts Sally Smith and Brandon Ehrhardt for an exciting new podcast designed for the people who power travel. (That’s you!) Listen in to hear travel industry leaders reveal their best-kept secrets, hard-earned hospitality tips, and bold predictions on where the industry is headed next.

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Latest Episode

Episode 6: A wild ride! How the car rental industry has shifted gears during the pandemic

In Powering Travel’s season finale, we cover an area of travel that experienced one of the most notable roller coaster rides of the pandemic: the rental car industry. Ricardo Casco, vice president of international and online travel sales for Avis Budget Group, gives us an inside view on what it was like to go from almost no demand to explosive demand in record time. Listen to the episode to learn how industry leaders pivoted to help get cars where travelers wanted to go — and what trends he’s anticipating for the future.

Tune in until the very end for exclusive bonus interviews with professional race car drivers Stef Wilson and James Hinchliffe straight from this year’s Indianapolis 500.

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Episode 1: From surviving to thriving — a new chapter for the hospitality industry

Powering Travel kicks off with Dennis Schaal, founding and executive editor of Skift — the go-to source for travel industry news. Listen to the episode to hear his take on evolving traveler trends!

Episode 2: Why sustainability means the world to travelers

Join Powering Travel hosts for an in-depth look at sustainable travel trends with Peter DeBrine, destination advisor and UNESCO sustainable tourism expert. Listen to the episode for actionable ways to make a positive impact — and to help attract the increasing number of travelers looking for eco-friendly accommodations.

Episode 3: Travelers expect customized experiences — here’s how to deliver

In episode three of our Powering Travel podcast, we look at the incredible potential for customized traveler experiences this summer and beyond. Listen to the episode to hear invaluable insights from Erin Zinser, vice president of partnership activation for the Global Partnerships division of AEG Worldwide, the world’s leading sports and live entertainment company.

Episode 4: How partnering with influencers can benefit your brand

There’s a lot of mystery surrounding travel influencers. Who are they? And what do they do, exactly? We brought in Jade Broadus, vice president and creative director of Travel Mindset, to take a deep dive into the subject. Listen to the episode to hear how travel influencer partnerships work and learn strategies to leverage them for your business.

Episode 5: How traveler demand impacts airline network planning

Listen to episode five to hear all about how airlines approach network planning. Join your hosts for an in-depth interview with Darren Scott, director of Atlantic and Hawaii network planning at United Airlines. Darren generously shares his expertise on what goes into networking planning, including factors that help determine where they’ll launch a new nonstop route.

Meet your hosts

Sally and Brandon love keeping up with the latest news in travel. They're on a mission to interview experts across the industry about what's trending — and they can't wait to share what they learn with you.

Sally Smith

Sally is the senior director of market management at Expedia Group. She launched her career in 2005 with Starwood Hotels & Resorts and joined Expedia in 2012, where she’s earned a decade of experience in hotel revenue management and sales strategy. Sally’s passionate about travel — and about technology’s potential to benefit the industry. She lives in Lake Tahoe, CA, with her husband and their two young children.

Brandon Ehrhardt

Brandon is the senior director of partner programs at Expedia Group, where he heads up our platform loyalty program. Brandon spent the early days of his career designing revenue management strategies for United Airlines. While with Expedia Group, Brandon has played an integral role in scaling our loyalty program, launching research projects, and leading strategic initiatives. Brandon currently resides in Chicago, IL, with his wife and a rambunctious toddler.

Tell us what you want to hear

Contact us at poweringtravel@expediagroup.com with suggestions for episode topics, pitches for guest appearances, sponsorship inquiries, or general questions about the podcasts. We’d love to hear from you.