I visited San Francisco a couple weeks ago for a Skift Megatrends event and was surprised by how many problems a wealthy and progressive destination can have from the perspective of a business traveler. Is San Fran really a great place to hold an event?

Following a delicious burrito, I sat down one afternoon with San Francisco Travel President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro to talk about the challenges the city faces as both a dynamic destination for events and a social victim of its own economic success. Check out the story below.

We also have the latest on Best Western diving into luxury by acquiring WorldHotels and the ways which big travel brands are putting the squeeze on travelers.

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

How San Francisco Deals With Skyrocketing Events Demand: San Francisco remains a major draw for events despite high costs and other pervasive problems. Perhaps the Bay Area can turn to the creative thinking it’s known for to solve some of these issues.

Travel Megatrends 2019: Consolidation Creates Travel Brand Bullies: In a rush to scale, consolidated travel companies find themselves with outsized market share that often leads to muscling consumers to their advantage. With no good alternatives, how will travelers react to the pressure?

Best Western Plugs Luxury Gap by Buying WorldHotels: Is this the beginning of a new cycle of global hotel chains buying independent hotel groups? As competition intensifies for soft brands, more of such consolidations should not surprise anyone.

Around the Industry

Choice Hotels Touts Its Tech Partnerships With Google and Amazon: Will voice-enabled booking for hotels actually take off? Guess we’ll find out first with Choice Hotels’ partnership with Google.

Speakers Struggle to Deal With Mounting Visa Issues: In this era of geopolitical tension, international speakers are dealing with serious visa approval problems.

Consolidation Hits Venue Management Space: Mergers are expanding beyond hospitality and event technology as the meetings sector copes with change on many fronts.

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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: A Google employee helps direct people as they register for Google I/O 2014 in San Francisco, Tuesday, June 24, 2014. Jeff Chiu / Associated Press