This week in tourism, Brand USA fights to prove its relevance and secure funding under the Trump administration. Then outgoing UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced the country’s first tourism sector deal, plus we examined the cruise industry's massive pollution problem.
Tourism News Weekly Roundup
Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines tourism trends.
For all of our weekend roundups, go here.
Brand USA Fights for Its Future as U.S. Inbound Travel Weakens Under Trump: Brand USA is confident about securing future funding due to bipartisan support for the program. The reality, however, is that the program faces an administration not focused on welcoming visitors.
UK’s Tourism Sector Gets Government Backing as Brexit Looms: The UK government’s announcement is a big win for the travel industry — especially at a time when the ever-present uncertainty of Brexit is top of the industry’s mind.
Cruising’s Pollution Problem Won’t Be Solved Any Time Soon: Cruise ships are giant floating hotels with shopping malls and casinos inside. The industry has made progress on sustainability, but much more needs to be done as consumer habits shift toward more sustainable vacation options.
Carnival Expands Internet of Things to More Ships: Carnival has been talking about the Ocean Medallion for a while now. Expect the technology to be deployed on more ships soon, with new improvements to guest experience in the process.
Southeast Asia’s Traveloka Pushes Further Into Events: Looks like Traveloka is wading deeper into events such as concerts and sports, a big business in Southeast Asia with the biggest gatherings drawing huge local and regional crowds. Its investment in an events technology company shows the potential of tours and activities hasn’t been tapped yet.
Airbnb’s Around-the-World Trip Promotion Gets Off to a Rocky Start: This promotional tour from Airbnb to tout Airbnb Adventures clearly backfired because of traveler outrage and difficulties in booking and paying for the one-time trip. It’s not an opportune start for Airbnb’s tour initiative, which may be a tad more complex than Airbnb anticipates.
China’s Tencent Partners With Helsinki to Help Chinese Travelers Live Like Locals: Chinese travelers are the world’s largest outbound travel market. With the launch of Helsinki’s WeChat collaboration, it seems the days of asking them to pay cash in a destination are numbered.
Space 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.
California Leads U.S. Destinations’ Efforts to Target the Middle East Luxury Traveler: In the effort to attract high-spending tourists, states often look overseas. That’s a good idea — international visitors typically spend more than domestic travelers. But certain international markets present a more complicated consumer landscape than others. That’s what Visit California has discovered as it starts wooing more travelers from the Middle East.
Severe Water Crisis in Indian City Chennai Cripples Hospitality Sector: A water shortage of epic proportions in Chennai, capital of Tamil Nadu, the second most visited state in India by foreign tourists, serves as a reminder to the global hotel industry to ask if it’s doing enough to conserve water.
Travel Advisors Ready to Take One Big Step Into Space Tourism: After many years of setbacks and anticipation, Virgin Galactic’s suborbital flights are expected to launch at last. Is a whole new era of space tourism, with rewards for travel advisors, about to take off, as well?
How California Plans to Target Big-Spending Middle East Tourists: Despite suffering from the Trump administration’s travel bans, the Middle East is a target for Visit California. The region’s luxury travelers are big spenders abroad and it makes sense for destinations to try and work out how best to capture some of that cash.
Brands Bet on Wellness by Pushing Beyond Core Offerings: It’s difficult to grow as a company if you just stick to what you do best. So opportunistic brands are betting on different aspects of wellness and hoping to find more customers in the process.
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Photo Credit: Brand USA is trying to secure its funding under the Trump administration. Brand USA