Small cities are making a big impact by appealing to the organizers of large events who are looking for something different. This week, we take a look at three secondary cities around the world that have used different methods to become more attractive to events.

Is your city doing interesting things to up its game in the global marketplace for event destinations? Send me an email, I’d love to chat.

We’ve also got the latest on the next big destinations in luxury travel, along with an examination of the increasing harmony between business and leisure trips. No, I’m not going to use the buzzword.

If you have any feedback about the newsletter or news tips, feel free to reach out to me via email at as@skift.com or tweet me @sheivach.

— Andrew Sheivachman, Senior Editor

The Future of Events and Meetings

Smaller Cities Win Bigger Events by Trying Harder: A combination of small-city hospitality, modern facilities, a collaborative approach, and an effort to show off individuality is winning over event organizers that tend to select big cities for their conferences.

The Next Big Destinations for Luxury Brands: Where will luxury travelers be jetting off to in 2019? For clues, look at where the world’s high-end brands are opening their newest properties.

Agencies Find Opportunity When Vacations Are Tacked Onto Business Travel: Conventional wisdom says a good travel agent can arrange leisure travel or corporate travel, but not both. Even if it were true, there’s nothing to prevent the agency from selling both leisure and business travel — except believing conventional wisdom.

Around the Industry

Europeans Traveled Abroad More in 2018 But the Pace Slowed: Europeans did more outbound international travel this year than last year. The pace of growth was not as torrid as in the past, however. Experts forecast a similar modest growth rate for 2019.

South Africa’s Visa Policy Is Still Hurting Tourism: South Africa’s onerous visa regime for minor travelers continues to hobble its all-important tourism industry. Amendments published last month may look like good news, but read them closely and — industry insiders say — not nearly enough has changed.

How Artificial Intelligence Determines Which Airline Stories Go Viral: As a Dataminr executive told us, “There is no such thing as a secret now.” If it happens on an airplane and someone puts it on social media, it is bound to become news. That’s just how it goes now, for better or worse.

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Skift Senior Editor Andrew Sheivachman [as@skift.com] curates the Skift Meetings Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday.

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Photo Credit: Two business travelers in Gotenberg, Sweden. Secondary destinations are making a play to turn intimacy and character into a major draw for event organizers. Kim Svensson/Göteborg & Co / Göteborg & Co