First Free Story (1 of 3)

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Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines tourism.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

>>Japan Tourism really thinks that U.S. travelers are turning Japanese, or at least their travel wish lists are. The tourism board is more building off the momentum it already has in the U.S. But most U.S. travelers don’t speak Japanese, and that will continue to be a sticking point for the country’s tourism: Japan Tourism Is Using Celebrity Chefs to Make the Country More Palatable to U.S. Travelers

>>Long-time tour operator Ker & Downey has always had a mission to get travelers to less-explored regions. Aside from bringing in tourism dollars to developing countries, the company stands out for its commitment to on-the-ground philanthropy: Giving Free and Independent Travel a Luxury Edge

>>Luxury travel brands are today operating within the transformation economy. Brands must align themselves with experiences that speak to affluent consumers’ desire for a personal evolution: Aligning Luxury Hotels With Active Brands to Attract High-Achieving Guests

>>China is a tiny part of its overall business right now, but Thomas Cook is thinking long term. Whether the company’s expansion into China is a success or not will probably come down to the strength of its local opposition, which is deeply entrenched: Thomas Cook China Operation Faces Strong Opposition

>>People with disabilities are often overlooked by event spaces and meeting planners. A new wave of innovation and technology can help make meetings and events more accessible, but lasting change needs to start with a focus on increasing accessibility during the planning process: Meetings and Events Technology Alone Can’t Solve Accessibility Challenges

>>Accessibility should become an integral part of the planning process for planners and event spaces alike. New technologies alone won’t fix these shortcomings: Accessibility Is More Than Adding Tech Gadgetry — Meetings Innovation Report

>>We’ve got your overtourism coverage. And we have some ideas for how to address the problem. Tune in for a valuable conversation: Skift Podcast: Finding Solutions for the Overtourism Dilemma

>>The Trump slump is not only real; it’s worse than anticipated. The much-coveted Chinese travelers, for instance, are looking to travel elsewhere for now: Trump Slump Means U.S. Tourism Is Losing Visitors From Its Most Important Markets

Photo Credit: Cloud Gate, aka "the bean," in Chicago's Millennium Park. The U.S. is experiencing a Trump Slump worse than anticipated. Phil Roeder / Flickr