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With the theme of Travel With Purpose, Ensemble Travel Group’s 2019 International Conference delivered an intense message about the need for sustainable and responsible tourism. The vital role that everyone in the travel industry — travel advisors as well as suppliers — has to play was driven home throughout the conference, most prominently by Ensemble’s new CEO David Harris.

More than just talking the talk, Ensemble announced a new partnership with Cool Effect, a company dedicated to reducing the impact of carbon emissions. Through the use of Cool Effect’s Travel Offset Tool, travel advisors will be able to assist clients in offsetting their carbon footprint from air travel.

Ensemble Travel, which earlier this year mandated that all members join the American Society of Travel Advisors, also announced it would give members financial help in receiving certification from The Travel Institute. Under Harris’ leadership, it’s evident that the consortium is willing to take innovative steps to add value for its members and better serve the industry.

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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 Stories

Ensemble Travel Group Adds Carbon Offset Tool for Agencies: Ensemble Travel’s partnership with Cool Effect enables travel advisors to help clients offset their carbon footprint by donating to sustainability projects. It’s a step that other travel agency groups should take as well.

Airlines Should Be More Like Travel Agencies to Inspire Trips: Travel advisors really get to know many of their clients over the course of years. Airlines can take a lesson from them when it comes to really personalizing trips instead of the lame attempts that are under way.

Greta Effect Felt on Climate Talk at Ensemble Travel Group Conference:  Sustainable travel was the overriding theme at Ensemble Travel Group’s 2019 International Conference, which CEO David Harris called the most important issue facing travel advisors and their clients. The importance of capturing sales data and strong alliances with travel industry organizations also emerged as top priorities.

Financial Help for Hong Kong Travel Advisors Comes With a Sigh of Relief: Hong Kong’s travel sector needs all the help it can get at the moment, and a new government scheme will be met with gratitude by travel advisors in particular.

Hotels

Budget Chain Oyo Can Be a Nightmare for U.S. Hotel Operators Despite Its Hype: Oyo has a hype machine to rival any brand. But beneath all of the disruption, some hotel owners complain its technology is unstable and lacks functionality, leaving them to clean up the mess. Growth for growth’s sake may seem great for a unicorn-like valuation, but the hotel chain will need to grapple with flaws in its business model that can’t keep pace.

Accor CEO to Doubters in Asia: Our Brand-Heavy Strategy Is Working: Having more brands when cheap money is chasing real estate is good for Accor, but may not be for its hotel owners. This is especially true in Asia where owners are hoping that in time it won’t be a case of too many Accor hotels chasing too few hotel guests.

Airlines

Jet Lag App Timeshifter Makes Moves on Asia’s Hotels, Airlines: Timeshifter, brandishing NASA-approved science, wants to revolutionize how the travel industry helps guests fight jet lag. The science has won consumers over — and is a no-brainer for airlines. But in Asia’s cutthroat hotel business, how it can integrate the app into different branded programs is perhaps a different science.

American Airlines Is Ready to Bounce Back in 2020: American Airlines has had a rough year. But on its third-quarter earnings call, top executives made a compelling argument that they’ve turned things around. Are they right? Or was it just spin?

Tourism

Former Thomas Cook CEOs Take Low Road Blaming Each Other for Past Mistakes: It was the appearance everyone was waiting for. The two former Thomas Cook CEOs had very, very different ideas about how to run a travel company. The problem is that the business is no longer around, meaning they are both somewhat tarnished by failure.

Watch Out, Japan! Switzerland Luring More Asians for Winter Holidays: Skift Take Asia’s snow holiday market keeps growing, and Switzerland, a first mover in this opportunity, is benefiting. Japan, however, remains the most popular winter holiday destination for Asians by far.

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.

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Photo Credit: Shown here are the endless crowds in Barcelona. At the Ensemble Travel Group’s 2019 International Conference Oct. 22–27 in Seattle, CEO David Harris called upon travel advisors to assume responsibility for directing clients to less heavily touristed destinations. Tony Silveira / Flickr