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.

While the U.S. State Department has long issued strong advisories against traveling to Iran, leisure tourism from the U.S. and other countries has steadily grown in recent years. Now, however, angry rhetoric between the Trump administration and the Iranian government has some Americans reconsidering travel plans to Iran.

Despite the tensions, tour operators and travel mavens such as Rick Steves maintain that Iran is a safe and hospitable destination for travelers, Americans included. The available tours, which include everything from culinary themes to women-only sojourns, are intriguing options for travel advisors to recommend to clients looking for new cultural experiences.

Another emerging destination that has felt the impact of scary headlines is Sri Lanka, where tourism has taken a dive after the terrorist attacks in April. Now some travel advisors say interest in Sri Lanka looks to be getting back on track.

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

Demand for Iran Tours Rising Despite U.S. Falloff: As antagonism intensifies between the Trump administration and Iran, some American tourists are rethinking plans to visit the country. Barring the start of military activity, tour operators say Iran is a safe and hospitable destination even for U.S. visitors.

Travel Advisors Sell Sri Lanka Again Thanks to Downgraded Warnings: Tourism to Sri Lanka was riding high until the Easter massacre all but shut it down. Now that foreign governments are scaling back their travel warnings, some travel advisors are again pushing the destination, hoping that tourism will help get the country back on its feet.

Tourism

Fewer Visitors to Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum Spells Success: Here’s Why: In the age of overtourism, a top tourist attraction admitting it has a carrying capacity is a quietly radical act. For the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, it’s one that has paid off.

Australia’s Visa Bottleneck Jeopardizes Luring Cricket-Crazed Indians for World Cup Next Year: Claims that Indian travel agents are discouraging clients from going to Australia may be overblown. But they do not detract from the key issue: Australia must streamline visa processing better, especially if it wants to attract Indians to the Cricket World Cup 2020.

WebBeds, Agoda Rush to Serve New Generation of Muslim Pilgrims to Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia is expanding its infrastructure to support 15 million Umrah visitors a year by 2020, and 30 million by 2030. WebBeds and Agoda are two major Asian players that are jostling for position in the promising sector.

Hospitality

Guest Behavior Is Key Part of the Lux Hospitality Equation: Luxury travelers often deconstruct what goes into the makings of great hospitality. It’s also necessary, however, to ask what is required of guests so that they hold up their end of the bargain. It’s a two-way street, and all too often we ignore one side of the equation.

Airlines

Delta’s Economy Upgrades Put Product Over Loyalty: It used to be that hardcore loyalty mavens would avoid Delta’s SkyMiles program because of its poor earning and redeeming channels. Now thanks to constant product improvements, those concerns may be moot.

Southwest Air’s Paint Guru Keeps 750 Airplanes Looking Sharp: Peeling paint is a fact of life at an airline. But most carriers try their best to keep aircraft looking sharp. They view an airplane’s livery as free advertising. That’s why jobs like Corey Culbertson’s are so important.

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: An Intrepid Travel cycling tour in Iran. Demand for Iran tours is rising globally despite reduced interest among Americans because of tensions between the U.S. and Iranian governments. Intrepid Travel