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.

Themed cruises are a hot segment of the cruise industry, but are they so popular that travel advisors are being left at the dock? Some travel advisors complain that themed cruise operators are difficult to work with, often preferring to market and sell directly to consumers.

While themed cruise operators who spoke with Skift did acknowledge a ready demand for their cruises, they also said travel advisors are an important part of their distribution. They said the cruises, which appeal to a wide demographic of enthusiasts for everything from vintage rock music to yoga, are an opportunity for travel advisors to serve their clients’ travel preferences and learn more about their special interests.

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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 Story

Themed Cruises Are a Double-Edged Sword for Travel Advisors: Travel advisors who understand their clients’ interests and hobbies will likely find a themed cruise that meets their needs. But it may not be plain sailing since some operators seem to prefer to sell direct — and have the marketing reach to do so.

Hotels

Marriott Plays Catch-Up on All-Inclusives as Rivals Push Into Resorts: After years of standing on the sidelines, the world’s largest hotel chain has committed to growing its all-inclusive portfolio organically. Keep an eye on Latin America and the Caribbean, which will be huge test markets for whether Marriott goes global.

Tourism Is Up: So Why Is New York City’s Hotel Room Revenue Slumping? With so many hotel rooms in the pipeline, a turnaround of slower revenue-per-room growth in New York City is not expected until after 2020. It’s a classic supply-and-demand problem, making it a delicate balance to get pricing power back in a city where tourism remains hot.

Luxury Boutique Hotels Push Further Into Former Warehouse Districts: All over the world, once-derelict areas in cities are still drawing hotels because the price is right. How long will that last?

Tour Operators

Former Silversea Cruises CEO Takes Over at Luxe Travel Giant Abercrombie & Kent: The co-chairman structure is an unusual one in business and rarely lasts for long. But given the friendship of the two occupants, maybe this one stands more chance of success.

Thomas Cook Closes in on $1.1 Billion Rescue Deal: Thomas Cook’s chances of escaping its current financial mess still rest in the hands of Fosun and its creditors. While the announcement is good news for travelers and the company’s employees, there are still a number of hurdles to clear.

Airlines

United Airlines Removes Expiration Dates From Frequent Flyer Miles: United’s decision to remove the expiration date from MileagePlus accounts is a small gesture toward improving the lives of its loyalty program members — and could eventually be key to its growth.

Spirit Airlines Will Offer Comfier Seats for Free: Spirit Airlines is taking delivery of new aircraft, so this is an easy time for the airline to add more comfortable seats. The big question is will the airline pay to retrofit older jets to new standards? That’s an expensive proposition, but it would show the airline is paying attention to passenger desires.

Meetings

Does a Hotel-Backed Meetings Booking Platform Stand a Chance? Hotels need to be willing to make more investments — and to give up some of their control — if Groups360 is going to work.

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: Music cruises like the Flower Power Cruise operated by StarVista Live often attract repeat business. StarVista Live