Skift Take

Highly publicized incidents and policy changes surrounding some of the Caribbean's most popular destinations are putting a snafu in travel plans. As always, travel advisors need to roll with the punches and find workable alternatives for clients.

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.

For many travel advisors with Caribbean-bound clients, the tourist deaths in the Dominican Republic, political unrest in Puerto Rico, and the abrupt U.S. travel policy change to Cuba are putting their ingenuity to the test. When headlines make clients nervous or — in the case of Cuba — travel plans confront a roadblock, travel advisors must act quickly to find alternatives.

While travel advisors are used to negative fallout from widely publicized incidents, this summer, with its string of disturbances, has been unusually challenging. As one advisor put it, “you are constantly putting out fires.”

In another story, we look at the significant growth of women-only tours, particularly those to destinations where women still lead a segregated existence. These trips not only promote exchanges between women from different cultures but are also opening up opportunities for women in the tour destinations to enter new careers and share their experiences. In the travel realm, as elsewhere, sisterhood is powerful.

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 Scramble to Find Alternatives for Caribbean-Bound Clients: In the age of mass media, word of incidents in travel destinations quickly spread across the globe, and travel advisors need to be prepared to handle client requests for changes in their wake. It’s important for advisors to start looking for backup plans when news begins to break.

Travel Advisors See Growing Demand for Women-Only Tours That Promote Empowerment: A proliferation of women-only tours reflects the fact that women are a driving force behind the trend for experiential and adventure-oriented travel. The tours enable participants to interact with women from cultures far different than their own.


Genting’s Dream Cruises Leadership Change Won’t Rock the Boat: Thatcher Brown has done a lot for Dream Cruises, and the last thing Genting wants to do at this time is appoint a successor who will make waves. Michael Goh is a perfect fit.


Luxury Accommodations Head Outdoors In Creative Ways: We’ve been reporting on alternative luxury accommodations like glamping, yurts, and tiny homes for the past couple of years. But now the hotel-less caravansary is going one step beyond, offering a variety of alternative accommodations all in one location.

Hilton Seeks More Partnerships to Entice Low-Tier Loyalty Members: It’s easy for hotel chains to spend time and resources on their highest loyalty spenders. But there is plenty of money to be had at the other end of the tier as well.

IHG CEO: Guests Are Pressuring Hotels to Reduce Plastics, Not Governments: For IHG, governments are behind the curve in helping to reduce plastic waste. The real influence comes from its guests, whose awareness and expectations have increased exponentially in the last couple of years.


United Airlines Confronts Ticketing Ploy That Nets Travelers Cheaper Fares: Airlines hate so-called hidden-city ticketing. They believe it flouts their fare rules and threatens how they do business. But are they being too aggressive as they try to thwart it?

Air France-KLM Hints at Further Fleet Change After Sealing Union Deal: Under newish CEO Ben Smith, Air France-KLM has improved its relationship with its unions. This new agreement will make it much easier for its French unit in particular to compete with low-cost rivals.


U.S. Loss of Global Travel Will Cost $180 Billion by 2020: It’s more bad news for U.S. market share of the global travel market.

Theme Park Operator Merlin Finds Everything Isn’t Awesome at Legoland: Merlin’s determination to focus on the long-term potential of the company is probably one of the reasons it is keen to escape the glare of the public markets.

Business Travel

What Political Unrest Means for Global Biz Travel in the Coming Year: It all comes down to uncertainty, making consumers more cautious and businesses more likely to cancel travel. Unfortunately, this anxiety isn’t going to end any time soon.


Sabre Hunts for More Tech Deals to Overcome Sales: Sabre’s management must have seen this quarter’s sales slowdown coming. After all, the company’s prior management had underspent in the research and development work necessary to keep its sales growth humming. Sabre’s new leaders have been investing in its long-term growth, but the payoff in sales growth may take a while.

Amadeus Finds Growth in Business Outside of Distribution: Amadeus deserves credit for making strides in reducing its dependence on its original core business of airline distribution. Few companies in any industry succeed in diversifying. But work remains to be done. Plus, the company may not be doing enough to capture Asia’s potential as a market.

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, caribbean, cruise, hotels, tourism, travel advisor innovation report, travel agents

Photo credit: Demonstrators in Puerto Rico forced the governor to resign. Travel agents have had to find alternative destinations at times for travelers this summer because of disruptions in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. Bloomberg

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