Skift Take

The classic American road trip is being revamped for more affluent and sophisticated travelers. Improved accommodations and amenities are a far cry from what many clients may recall from childhood.

Whether you are a home-based travel advisor or you work in a large office servicing high-profile accounts, the Travel Advisor Innovation Report will have you covered with the trends, news, and features you’ll need to stay on top of an ever-changing marketplace.

Are we there yet? Can we stop at the reptile museum? For many Americans the family road trip to visit national parks or other sites was an indelible childhood experience. It usually involved camping or cheap motels, fast food, and endless hours squabbling with siblings in the back seat. Along the way these road trips also showcased America’s scenic splendors, some of the most amazing in the world.

Now the classic American road trip is being reinvented to appeal to today’s more sophisticated and well-heeled travelers. They’ve been to exotic lands, but now they want to get back on the highway and experience the geographic and cultural diversity of their own land. At the same time, they don’t want to rough it. Thanks to a proliferation of upscale accommodations and amenities in even the most rustic places, they don’t have to.

Travel advisors now have abundant opportunities to plan drive vacations for clients that preserve the spirit of the open road without dredging up any unpleasant memories from long ago.

For more coverage of pertinent issues, click here.

Any suggestions for the coverage you would like to see are welcome. Feel free to contact me at [email protected].

— Maria Lenhart, Travel Advisor Editor

Featured Stories

Travel Advisors School Affluent Clients on the Great American Road Trip: As well-traveled Americans and international visitors look for their next adventures, travel advisors are pointing them to the allures of the open road. Fueled by an increase in high-end lodging options in the American West, more luxury travelers will shift gears and opt for driving rather than flying.

Royal Caribbean Vision for Data-Driven Cruising Is Almost Here: For all the talk of using bracelets and smartphones to improve the cruise experience, more needs to be done to improve internal processes and make cruising more sustainable.

Dominican Republic Counters Negative Publicity After U.S. Tourist Deaths: Media reports of seven U.S. tourist deaths in the last year in the Dominican Republic certainly sound alarming. But judgment should be reserved until a connection between them is established.


Travelers Are Becoming More Environmentally Aware. Has the Cruise Industry Noticed? The cruise industry has historically benefitted from a consumer base that is broadly forgiving of its environmental missteps. But times are changing.


U.S. Attractions Fail to Satisfy Minority Visitors: U.S. attractions could do a much better job of serving travelers of color. It’s not just a matter of marketing and content curation but hiring practices as well.

Airbnb Expands Experiences Into Multiday Adventures: Give Airbnb credit for sticking to its blueprint by offering Airbnb Adventures in its own image, avoiding typical mainstream expeditions. Whether this will develop into a reliable service and big business for the homesharing company will be proven on Colorado cliffs and at Galapagos coffee farms.


New $100,000 A Night Resort in the Philippines Faces Hurdles: It’s good to see that the Philippines keeps cracking down on developments to ensure they are in line with environmental and easement issues, even those at the ultra-premium end of the spectrum. But that’s not the only challenge Banwa faces.


Travel Managers Express Concerns About Boeing 737 Max Safety: Travel managers are concerned for the safety of travelers who will be flying Boeing 737 Max series aircraft in the future, and with good reason.

Airlines Reluctantly Adapt to Reimbursing Travelers for Flight Disruptions: TUI Fly says it’s the first airline to work with tech vendors to automate and standardize the process of flight disruption claims. Larger carriers, take note: You also need to reduce your enormous backlogs of consumer claims, whether you build tech in-house or find a vendor.

Scandinavian Airlines Goes Local With Farm-to-Tray Table Menus: For long-haul flights SAS lacks the size and scale to compete with its much larger European competitors. On short-haul routes the airline can’t compete with the cost structure of the continent’s strongest low-cost-carriers. But there’s one place it probably does have an edge: its onboard food.


Cvent Acquires DoubleDutch to Fuel Engagement Growth: Cvent has spent the last few years gobbling up innovative companies to round out its gigantic platform for planners, hotels, and corporations. DoubleDutch is yet another example of Cvent’s aggressive approach to building its platform through acquisitions.

Skift Travel Advisor Editor Maria Lenhart [[email protected]] curates the Skift Travel Advisor Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday. Have a story idea? Or a juicy news tip? Want to share a memo? Send her an email.


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Tags: airlines, cruise, hotels, road trips, tourism, travel advisor innovation report

Photo credit: Pictured is Big Sur, California at sunset. Travel advisors are pushing clients to take road trips as a great way to get to experience the United States. Greg McAfee

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