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 trends.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

>>Our flagship Skift Global Forum is back in NYC on September 27–28, 2018. Check out our venue now and register at our best price for a limited time! Don’t Miss the Latest Updates on Skift Global Forum NYC

>>Protests and marches are a phenomenon that D.C. tourism officials never asked for but are forced to reckon with. It’s an ongoing reckoning that the city’s tourism board is still figuring out in the digital age, and other destinations are taking cues: Washington, D.C. March Shows Promise of Protest Tourism

>>The travel industry feels tourism can help rather than harm the environment. Los Angeles is a destination that’s seriously thinking about its role at a time when climate change has already made itself felt in the region: Los Angeles Tourism Sees Travel as a Buffer Against Climate Change

>>Expedition cruising doesn’t get as much attention as mass-market operators that boast of multiple restaurants and flashy water slides. But the sector is growing, and that presents opportunities as well as challenges in catering to travelers who are seeking once-in-a-lifetime experiences: Expedition Cruise CEOs Expect Prices to Fall as Sector Booms

>>Do locals spend more money on at-home activities than travelers spend on in-trip activities? The answer isn’t as pressing as the fact that most of the world’s activities are still up for grabs by booking platforms: Skift Forum Europe Preview: What Travelers Want From Activities

>>Barging is a very small segment of the cruise industry, but it’s growing exponentially. That said, given that a typical barge only holds four to 12 passengers, and there are only about 100 barges in operation, exponential growth can take place with the addition of just a few new boats: Why Slow Barge Cruising Is a Fast-Growing Luxury Option

>>Cruise lines had a lot of big plans for China a few years ago, but as the market has cooled, those plans are changing. SkySea Cruises shows that winning Chinese travelers isn’t as easy as taking an old ship and tailoring it to local preferences: Royal Caribbean Ends Its Joint Venture With Ctrip in China

>>The rise of uber-luxury cruise ships is well documented, but what about high-end cruising without the bling? We’ve said it many times before, but it is worth repeating: Experience counts much more than it used to. An intimate vacation on a tiny barge or a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Antarctica can still be luxurious: Niche Cruising Earns High-End Appeal

>>TUI Group is slowly building up quite a formidable cruise operation. How long before it starts to consider buying out joint venture partner Royal Caribbean? TUI Group Is Quietly Joining the Cruise Heavyweights

>>In times of protectionism and nativism, it’s important to stand up to the forces that want to close minds and borders alike. The travel industry should do more to make a case for itself, and that starts with opposing policies that create a divide with the rest of the world: Biggest U.S. Travel Lobby Praises Official Tasked to Build Trump’s Border Wall

>>There used to be only two ways for railways to make money: luck and state handouts. But that’s changing, as countries look at privatization and as railways look to technology to streamline operations. Sqills and SilverRail are two tech vendors that smell an opportunity: Eurostar Tech Update Signals Action in Once-Sleepy Rail Sector

>>Puerto Rico hasn’t had the chance to grow up as a destination over the years, and its tourism industry finally thinks it has a shot to do that. But to become known for more than its beaches and golf, it’ll have to overcome an intense political establishment that’s been defined by its financial woes and disorganization: Puerto Rico’s New Tourism Push Faces Another Kind of Storm Six Months After Maria

>>The CEO of Apple Leisure Group isn’t concerned about the prospect of virtual reality or other technology taking the place of actual vacations. But he is worried about the impact of policy that throws up roadblocks to traveling — a much more immediate concern: Apple Leisure Group CEO Believes Vacations Are Much Better Than Virtual Reality

>>Travel executives love to say that their employees are at the heart of their brands and they are on the front lines of the guest and visitor experience. Employees will toast to that notion, but hope they won’t have to tussle with a robot or virtual assistant to prove their worth: Tourism Jobs Numbers Increase Despite Modest Introduction of Artificial Intelligence

>>Companies are providing more information to help employees make educated decisions about business travel to countries that criminalize same-sex relationships. Travel managers must make such guidance available to everyone — and companies should have an advocate or employee resource group in place to support travelers with concerns: Global Business Travel Can Still Present a Vexing Challenge for LGBT Travelers

>>Travelers held off on booking cruises to the Caribbean in the aftermath of the 2017 hurricanes. One big question is how many of them will want to risk sailing during this year’s hurricane season — and at what prices: Carnival Sees a ‘Hurricane Hangover’ in Parts of the Caribbean

>>Travel managers should get much more active when fending off problems for LGBTQ travelers headed to certain destinations. Knowledge, understanding, and the right tools can make all the difference: Support for LGBT Business Travelers Needs to Be Ramped Up

Photo Credit: A protest for gun reform in Washington, D.C., on March 14, 2018. Protest tourism is an increasing part of the city's tourism strategy. Lorie Shaull / Flickr