Skift Take

While the cruise industry's dismal record on sustainability hasn't yet sparked concern among most cruise passengers or inspired major changes, small cruise operators are stepping up their game on green practices.

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.

Carnival Corp.’s recent $28 million fine for ocean pollution is just the latest high-profile example of how the cruise industry has a long way to go toward sustainability. The overtourism dilemma exacerbated by megaships crowding into popular ports is another. Despite this, travel advisors report that most cruise clients are not asking questions or making decisions based on a cruise line’s green practices.

However, there is a growing commitment among expedition-style cruise operators to better manage their fleets and develop new ships in ways that have less impact on the fragile marine environment and port communities. They also say there is increasing concern among their customers that they do so.

Hopefully, these cruise operators will lead the way for the entire industry.

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 Story

Travel Advisors See Little Backlash From Carnival’s Pollution Fine: There hasn’t been much backlash after Carnival Corp. copped a guilty plea and a $28 million fine for polluting the ocean, but some smaller cruise operators are pushing their green credentials in the hope of differentiating themselves.


Norwegian Cruise Line Adapts to Disruptions From Cuba Travel Ban: Norwegian Cruise Line’s outlook remains bright, despite the industrywide challenge of the Cuba ban in early June.


Look Who’s Issuing Travel Advisories Now for the U.S. Since Dayton and El Paso: In the wake of the mass shootings that claimed 31 lives in early August, several authorities have issued travel alerts for travelers headed to the U.S. Whether it’s a statement or a matter of safety — or both — it’s significant.

Sri Lanka Boldly Asks Online Travel Agencies to Cut Commissions to Help Revive Tourism: Of the several measures to bring arrivals back to pre-Easter bombing levels, a tireless Sri Lanka is asking online travel agencies to slash commissions. It might be better to ask them instead to do a free or at-cost campaign to drive bookings to the country.

UK Leaves Interrail Scheme — and Then Promptly Rejoins After Public Response: Britain’s Rail Development Group contends it’s not leaving the Interrail scheme for reasons related to Brexit. But the optics and timing of the move aren’t great — not to mention it goes against several global trends in travel at the moment.


Carbon Offsets Mask Aviation Industry’s Lack of Green Alternatives: Carbon offsetting is by and large a con. The idea that rather than reducing environmentally harmful activities you can simply outsource the solution is ridiculous.

Israel’s El Al Airlines Tries to Reinvent Itself for the Modern Era: Some national flag airlines no longer have a commercial purpose and probably should go out of business. El Al is not one of those carriers. Tourism in the airline’s Israel home market is booming, and El Al should be able to ride the wave.


TripAdvisor Looks to Counter Google by Considering Loyalty Initiatives for First Time: A new loyalty program and a brand campaign to bolster direct traffic and user engagement are among the measures TripAdvisor is working on to counter the fact that Google is getting more stingy in providing free traffic. But TripAdvisor is also hoping — and anticipating — that U.S. regulators will step in.

Business Travel

Promise and Pablum at Corporate Travel’s Biggest Gathering of the Year: Is corporate travel a sexy sector now? Maybe to investors, but new technology is doing less to change the status quo than you may think.

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, online travel agencies, tourism, travel advisor innovation report, travel agents

Photo credit: The MS Koningsdam as seen in an aerial view in Venice. Travel advisors aren't seeing much impact from the pollution fine against Carnival Corp. Carnival Corp.

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