Skift Take

Breaking with the usual travel agency practices has proved to be a winning situation for two travel companies on this year's Inc. 5000 list. New approaches to hiring and travel planning are resonating in today's culture.

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.

There’s an exciting new world of possibilities for travel agencies, including those that throw most traditional agency practices out the window. Two that made this year’s Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., Indagare Travel and Audley Travel U.S., embrace business models that bear little resemblance to that of most other agencies.

While agencies typically hire generalists who handle all of a client’s travel needs to various destinations, these companies take a far more specialized approach. They also do not work with independent contractors, preferring a team atmosphere among staffers who work primarily in-house. They also eschew off-the-shelf travel products, designing their own highly customized itineraries instead.

This approach may not be right for everyone, but it does illustrate new ways to find business success, particularly in today’s on-demand culture.

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

Fast-Growing Travel Companies Break With Agency Traditions: Eschewing the usual travel agency business model, two travel companies on the Inc. 5000 list are enjoying significant success by providing highly curated itineraries and hiring staff with specialized expertise. Their approach is clearly resonating in today’s on-demand culture.


Georgia’s Growing Tourism Industry Will Get a Major Lift From Ryanair: The low-cost carrier expanding its network to Georgia will be good news for the nation’s already-growing tourism industry. But with $11 (€9.99) flights comes great responsibility for a tourism economy.

Philippine Tourism Industry Attracts More Family Money: Why It’s Wrong: For many, the idea that a few families can control a whole industry is unthinkable, unfair, actually galling. In Philippine tourism, it’s as entrenched as the sight of a jeepney — no one thinks anything of it at all. That has to change, although it won’t be anytime soon.


Skift Global Forum Preview: Carnival CEO Arnold Donald Says Sustainability Is ‘Job One’: When it comes to cruising’s responsibility to the world, the cruise industry has obligations that span land, air, and sea. Fortunately CEO Arnold Donald seems to recognize the scale of the challenge.


Airbnb Beat Expedia in Booked Room Nights: Does anyone remember when Travelocity was the leading U.S. online travel agency? We’re thinking about that because a milestone may have taken place in the first quarter when Airbnb attracted more room nights booked than did Expedia. What it does clearly show is that the online travel pecking order is very much in flux.

Corporate Travel

Group Bookings Slowdown Showing Up Already in Hotel Earnings: As the U.S.-China trade war drags on, its effect on group business travel becomes more and more apparent. An uncertain political environment within the U.S. is also probably having an impact.

The Events Industry Has a Blind Spot When It Comes to Attendee Engagement: If you can’t first measure engagement, then it’s hard to improve it. Digital tracking devices are a good investment for planners and something to add to their toolbox, along with mobile apps and surveys.

Airlines and Airports

American Airlines Will Make First Class Classier on Some Jets: People think airlines don’t listen to customers. But they do, especially when revenue is at stake. American’s most lucrative customers fly in first class, and when they’re not happy, it’s a problem. We’re not surprised American is changing course on its short-haul first class product.

Can Wellness Find Its Way Into the Cramped Confines of Economy Class? Thanks to the wellness movement, both airlines and airports are upping their healthy offerings, and not just for elite travelers. Whether or not the meditation apps and relaxation suites they’re increasingly offering are actually making a difference, though, is up for debate.

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, corporate travel, lodging, travel advisor innovation report, travel advisors, travel agents

Photo credit: Indagare Travel founder and CEO Melissa Biggs Bradley with members of the Maasai tribe in Kenya in 2018. Indagare hires in-house specialists who design highly customized travel experiences.

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