Skift Take

This week in tourism, the cruise industry faces a new rule to cut sulfur emissions by 85 percent that is set to launch in January. But will it be enforceable? Meanwhile, Airbnb's latest investment suggests the company will become more mainstream over time.

Tourism News Weekly Roundup

Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines tourism trends.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

The Cruise Industry Will Soon Face Its Strictest Pollution Standard Yet: Can Anyone Enforce It? Everyone — even cruise line executives — agrees that the air pollution the industry generates needs to be reduced. But a closer look at how cruise ships are regulated leaves little confidence that a new global standard to reduce disease-causing sulfur emissions can be adequately enforced.

Airbnb Invests in Tiqets for Experiences That Are Not, Well, Unique: Airbnb may never become a clone of its online travel agency competitors, but it will eventually go more mainstream to attract a wider range of travelers and locals, as the Tiqets investment suggests.

Amtrak Is Running Late as It Begins to Tackle Single-Use Plastics: Other global rail companies are speeding ahead of Amtrak in reducing single-use plastics, but Amtrak is trying to make up the time.

Defining a New Era of Wellness Tourism: Latest Skift Research: Wellness has long been an important part of the travel experience, but it has just recently exploded as a full-fledged trend. Travel industry stakeholders looking to attract wellness-minded consumers need to understand what wellness tourism means today in order to successfully find a place within it.

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.

Responsible Tourism Is Top Issue for Travel Advisors: Ensemble CEO: Ensemble Travel Group demonstrated a clear commitment at its 2019 International Conference by driving home the message that sustainability and climate change are the biggest issues facing the travel industry today. That the consortium took steps to offset the conference’s own carbon footprint shows it’s talking the talk.

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.

Fosun Swoops on Thomas Cook Brand Names: Given Fosun’s desire to help keep Thomas Cook afloat, the news shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially since the Chinese company’s Foliday ecosystem features the storied brand name.

Thomas Cook’s Nordic Business Gets New Owners: Even though Thomas Cook Group is no longer around, parts of the company live on. The Nordic business was pretty profitable, crucially has strong local brands and isn’t weighed down by an extensive store network. It’s easy to see how it can be a success in the future.

Brand USA Pleads Its Case to Congress as Funding Hangs in the Balance: Brand USA still doesn’t have a legislative path forward — and time is running out. A failure to renew it will make the U.S. an outlier as a leading global tourism destination with no promotional budget.

The Battle Over Tours and Activities Reservation Systems Rages On: FareHarbor and Bokun act as if they’re unstoppably on the way to becoming giants. But the market for booking systems for sightseeing and experience operators remains very much in flux.

Derision Greets Tourism Australia’s New ‘Philausophy’ Campaign: After a sad South Australia tourism campaign last month, Tourism Australia’s new “philausophy” campaign is just too much to handle for the local media Down Under.

Meet the Man Who Keeps London’s Double-Decker Tour Buses Rolling: Rory Budge’s fascination with all things mechanical began in his teenage years. He now helps keep everything ticking over at Big Bus Tours’ London engineering depot.


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Tags: tourism, Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: Protesters in Miami in opposition to Carnival Corp. New rules to reduce the amount of pollution in the ocean are set to be put into effect on Jan. 1. Lynn Sladky / The Associated Press