Skift Take

Travel agents (or advisors) were supposed to go the way of the fax machine. But in the internet era, they've managed to find ways to fight back.

Series: New Luxury

Luxury Travel News

The Skift New Luxury column is our weekly column focused on the business of selling luxury travel, the people and companies creating and selling experiences, emerging trends, and the changing consumer habits around the sector.

The travel agent is dead. Long live travel advisors.

Yes, they might not be as ubiquitous as they once were, but agents, or advisors (as various people are now calling them), have managed to carve out new niches despite advances in technology.

As we heard at Skift Global Forum, this tends to be at the luxury end of the market as those with money to spend are happier to splash more cash on their complicated vacation needs.

Part of the success story comes from changes at the top of key organizations such as at the recently renamed American Society of Travel Advisors, as my colleague Dennis Schaal found out.

The travel advisor community may have weathered the internet storm, but the question is now: Where does it go from here?

For feedback or news tips, reach out via email at [email protected] or tweet me @paddywhyte.

— Patrick Whyte, Europe Editor

6 Looks at Luxury

How Travel Agent Trade Group Fought Its Way Back From Near-Extinction: These travel advisors have a certain swagger about them these days. Their U.S. trade association, the newly named American Society of Travel Advisors, is now back among the living, and has the challenge of keeping things moving in the right direction.

Measuring the Value of Wellness to a Hotel Brand: Every time you turn around these days, a major hotel company is announcing that it has hired a chief wellness officer. But will this wave of devotion to wellness be a phase or a long-lasting phenomenon? According to many hotel industry experts, it depends on whether it can deliver a return on investment.

How Nihi Hotels Adds a Wild Side to Luxury Travel: Modern luxury doesn’t necessarily need overly formal staff and a stuffy atmosphere. It can be “consistently inconsistent” and yet still be totally unforgettable.

SBE CEO Warns of the Wal-Mart Risk in Hospitality: Can you ever really have the independence to do your own thing and have all that scale? SBE’s Sam Nazarian will find out soon enough.

Why Hospitality Should Hire Candidates With No Previous Hotel Experience: As labor markets tighten and competition increases, the hospitality industry must both embrace and make it easier for mid-career professionals to pivot their careers into a new world. The backgrounds, skill sets, and fresh thinking will add much-needed depth to the industry.

Royal Caribbean Is Already Growing Its Luxury Silversea Line: Royal Caribbean Cruises wants to be a bigger player in the luxury and expedition cruise space. One surefire way to do that, now that it owns a majority stake in Silversea: build more ships.


Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte [[email protected]] curates the New Luxury newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday.

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Tags: luxury, travel advisors, travel agents

Photo credit: The Punakha Dzong in Bhutan. Booking travel to more far flung destinations such as Bhutan is where travel advisors have come into their own. Göran Höglund (Kartläsarn) / Flickr

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