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.

While it wasn’t that long ago that the travel industry was struggling to find new talent, recent times have seen a flood of newcomers seeking careers as travel advisors. With their memberships swelling as a result, host agencies and consortiums are playing an increasing role in providing professional development for the new entrants — some of whom have unrealistic expectations of what it means to be a travel advisor.

As they primarily serve independent travel advisors setting up their own home-based operations, host agencies are having to fill in the gaps once provided by brick-and-mortar agencies and travel schools. Training, which once focused primarily on products and destinations, now also hones in on business skills. Networking opportunities and mentorships are also part of the mix.

The Travel Institute, which has provided certification and training since 1964, is also addressing the changing landscape, launching a new learning platform adaptable to a variety of tech devices and enhancing its certification program for frontline advisors.

All of these efforts are positive, ensuring professional standards for a new generation of travel advisors.

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 mbl@skift.com.

— Maria Lenhart, Travel Advisor Editor

Featured Story

Travel Advisor Newbies Benefit From Expanding Array of Training Options: With an influx of newcomers seeking careers as travel advisors, host agencies and consortiums are responding with new professional development options. Much of it emphasizes  business skills, giving a reality check to those who view a travel career as an easy endeavor with lots of perks.

Cruise

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.

Tourism

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.

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.

Lodging

Small Luxury Rental Companies Seek Differentiation From the Big Guys: Luxury short-term rentals sit at the intersection of old-world hospitality, expert-led curation, and innovative new-world tech, but they’ll need unique models to stand apart in the rapidly growing alternative accommodations sector.

Wyndham Is Expanding Overseas With Biggest Gains in Southeast Asia: Wyndham Hotels and Resorts took drastic measures last year, buying La Quinta Holdings and splitting from its parent company. It had a mixed third quarter, but the company promises to keep pushing into new territory, especially outside the U.S.

Facebook Removes Airbnb Host Group That Ridiculed Guests: When guests stay in short-term rentals, they shouldn’t have to worry that hosts might be sharing their intimate photos and personal information on Facebook, whether it be in nominally private groups or not. Airbnb, Vrbo, Facebook, and others need to be more vigilant so that their hosts aren’t violating privacy policies on their platforms or elsewhere.

Events

Privacy Concerns Loom as Facial Recognition at Events Becomes More Common: A facial recognition startup has developed a new way to protect attendee data, but many people are still wary of the technology. It’s hard to blame them, considering that data breaches within the travel industry seem to be happening left and right.

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: Travelport’s Claire Osborne (left) with Meon Valley Travel’s Kelly Doherty making the first New Distribution Capability booking at the agency’s offices in Leicester, UK, in October 2018. Training is key for new travel agents, as well as veterans. Travelport