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DU’s Daniels College of Business faculty experts available for many topics

The holiday season seems to already be a hot topic as supply chain issues have made holiday shopping an October activity instead of November or December. Faculty experts at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business are available to talk about how travel, shopping, supply, spending and charitable giving might look different this year.

Holiday shopping

Melissa Archpru Akaka, associate professor of marketing
Topics: how people, families and communities are adapting seasonal/special occasions in response to COVID
“The holiday shopping season will start sooner as consumer concerns about shipping times and inventory grow. We will see a rise in the number and variety of experiential gifts, which will include both intimate outings (e.g., special meals and staycations) and major events (e.g., concerts and games), as well as travel for long-awaited vacations. Brick-and-mortar retail stores will need to enhance in-person experiences and keep unique product on their shelves for last-minute shoppers who don’t want to rely on online orders or need replacement gifts for things that don’t arrive on time.”
Note: Akaka will be unavailable Nov. 25, Dec. 24, 25 or 31.

Holiday travel—airlines, hotels, Airbnbs and restaurants

David Corsun, associate professor of hospitality management
Topics: hotels and restaurant trends

Lowell Valencia-Miller, assistant teaching professor of management
Topics: airline travel, airport operations, customer service, travel tips
“The upcoming 2021 holiday season will represent the second holiday season impacted by COVID-19 and the first since vaccines were approved and available to anyone 12 years and older. Over the past 20 months, airlines and the airline industry had to respond first to the complete shutdown and then to the gradual reopening as COVID restrictions were relaxed. Fortunately, during the same period, the U.S. economy rebounded due to economic stimulus and increased consumer confidence, resulting in an increase in travel demand. According to the U.S. government, later this year, vaccinated international travelers will be allowed entry into the United States, marking another milestone in the industry’s recovery from COVID-19. Airlines and the airline industry are now attempting to respond to the increased demand and opening to international travelers but have struggled. How will these struggles impact air travel during this year’s busy holiday season? How will these struggles continue into 2022? When will the airlines see the return of the business traveler?”
Note: Valencia-Miller won’t be available Nov. 19-Dec. 12. 

Karen Xie, assistant professor of hospitality management
Topics: Airbnb’s recovery from COVID, Airbnb hosts, party problems, staycations
With COVID-19 cases dropping, more vaccines rolling out, and everyone eager to reunite with family and friends, it’s no surprise that travel is on the rebound. Using comprehensive analysis of Airbnb booking data and consumer research, Xie can discuss how both travel and life are changing, where people are planning to go and the unique experiences they’re looking for this holiday season.

Supply chain

Jack Buffington, assistant professor of the practice
Topics: food supply, inventory, online grocery shopping, Christmas shopping, global supply chain
“Retailers and suppliers will continue to battle through the Christmas season (too much or too little supply/demand) and COVID, but now many place a priority on the larger, longer challenges they will face in supply chain over the next five years.”