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.

To boldly go where no tourist has gone before.

Since Richard Branson announced a hoped-for foray into space tourism in the early 2000s, an elite group of travel advisors and their clients have been eagerly awaiting the launch of Virgin Galactic’s suborbital flights. Now with preparations underway at the company’s futuristic Spaceport America in New Mexico, it looks like the long wait is about to end.

With Virgin Galactic being just one player in a rapidly expanding field that also includes Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin, space tourism is certain to grow as a business source for travel advisors. While suborbital flights are now limited to the very rich — the six-minute experience costs $250,000 — experts believe they could one day be comparable in cost to Antarctic cruises and other high-end adventure travel. They could also spark interest in far less-expensive types of space tourism such as trips to view eclipses and rocket launches.

For travel advisors whose clients have a yen for the ultimate adventure, an exciting new era is just beginning.

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 mbl@skift.com.

— Maria Lenhart, Travel Advisor Editor

Featured Stories

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo December 2018 BloombergSpace Tourism Could Be the Ultimate Adventure Trip for Travel Advisors: With Virgin Galactic’s suborbital flights expected to begin at long last, space tourism could soon take off as a niche for travel advisors. Those already involved caution that it takes patience, training, and commitment.

Top Travel Agency Group Wants to Find Fixes for Overtourism: Travel Leaders is one of the first travel giants to turn overtourism into an opportunity. It’s teaming up with industry partners and academia to raise awareness, seek solutions, and push for sustainable business practices.

Tour Operators: Airbnb Adventures Knows Distribution, Not Destinations: Big-name tour operators aren’t losing sleep over Airbnb Adventures. But some are indeed paying close attention, which is prudent. Just ask European airlines, which underestimated the emergence of Ryanair and EasyJet, and would love to have a do-over.

CRUISE

Carnival’s Profit Plummets After Trump Cuba Ban: After a whopping 20 percent drop in second quarter earnings, Carnival is facing the realization that while itineraries to Cuba might have warranted higher-priced tickets, the political volatility of the Trump administration means they were not a safe bet.

Tourism

European Cities Turn to EU for Help in Battle Against Airbnb: Until Airbnb becomes more forthcoming about the information in its listings, which would enable cities to enforce their local regulations, the company will continue to face opposition from municipalities that want to limit its growth.

It’s Summer and Everyone is Writing About Overtourism: The intense media coverage of overtourism during high summer season makes sense, but putting the onus on travelers to solve it misrepresents the deeper issues at play.

Vietnam’s Homesharing Surge Creates Bargains for Travelers: The Vietnamese are known for their entrepreneurial spirit. A growth spurt in homesharing listings shows how eagerly they have sought a share of the tourism boom. But yields are falling even as the supply of homes and hotels are continuing to increase. Crunch time is near or perhaps even here.

Accommodations

Understanding Hotel Giant IHG: InterContinental Hotels Group is such a sprawling company, it’s hard to get a handle on it. Here we break it down for you.

Oyo Plans $300 Million U.S. Expansion With Focus on Major Cities: Sometimes it’s obvious when a company is growing too fast. This doesn’t appear to be one of those times. Oyo wants to be everywhere customers want to vacation.

Choice Hotels Rebrand Campaign Aims to Win Back Business Travelers: Choice Hotels realized years ago that Comfort Inn’s look was outdated. The company has to hope that spending billions on renovations and new marketing materials will make the brand successful again.

Airlines

Qantas Overhauls Loyalty Program, Resists Dynamic Pricing: Broad changes to the Qantas frequent flyer program should largely be welcomed by the airline’s road warriors, a rarity in today’s airline loyalty industry.

Skift Travel Advisor Editor Maria Lenhart [mbl@skift.com] 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.

Photo Credit: This undated photo shows Virgin Galactic's first SpaceShipTwo. Travel advisors are poised for the advent of suborbital flights. Virgin Galactic via Associated Press