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 brick-and-mortar stores of all kinds seem to be facing extinction these days, some innovative storefront travel agencies are bucking this trend. Designed as social hubs, new agencies cropping up on city streets from Brooklyn, New York, to Omaha, Nebraska, are now places where passersby can come in, relax in a lounge-style atmosphere, enjoy a cappuccino, peruse travel books, and chat with a travel advisor.

Owners of these travel agencies say that many of their walk-in customers had never before used a travel advisor or been aware of the services that agencies provide. Many were pleasantly surprised and ended up booking travel. The concept is successful enough that some of these travel agencies are expanding into multiple locations.

It’s good to know that face-to-face connections still resonate and that storefront travel agencies can be a vibrant part of local communities.

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

Storefront Travel Agencies Get Reimagined as Social Hubs: Travel agencies are thriving by replacing offices with lounges, complete with drinks and parties. By setting up shopfronts on busy streets, they’re also convincing travelers that they still exist.

Tourism

Poland Becomes First Country in 5 Years to Join U.S. Visa Waiver Program: The U.S. inbound travel market needs all the good news it can get at the moment — and Poland’s official entry into the visa waiver program is just that.

Popular Thai Beaches Pricier Than European Resorts: It’s Not Just About the Baht: It’s easy to blame the baht as the butt of the problem for a decline in European arrivals to Thailand. The issues, however, are wider and deeper than just currency appreciation.

Venice Mayor Blames Climate Change for Record High Tide and Flooding: Venice has become something of a modern case study containing all the issues that threaten tourism. Cimate change is chief among those, as current flooding shows.

Germany and the UK Are Trouble Spots in Europe’s Tourism Outlook: European tourism may, broadly speaking, be in growth mode. But there is still plenty of cause for guarded optimism, particularly when it comes to Germany and the UK.

Lodging

Hyatt Joins Other Big Hotel Chains by Pledging to Eliminate Small Plastic Bottles: Hyatt joins Marriott and IHG by promising to get rid of single-use plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and lotion with large-format bathroom amenities. Hotels are wisely promising to do what they can to mitigate waste. Let’s see if they can make their deadlines.

Hostel or Not, Shared Rooms Pop Up in Traditional Hotels: Lobbies are no longer the only spaces hotel guests can share. Now some hotels are offering travelers the choice of sharing guest rooms. But will the shared spaces be enough to lure millennial travelers away from the likes of Airbnb?

Expedia Tells Hotels Adding Resort Fees Will Lower Your Listings on Its Pages: Expedia Group’s stance on resort fees could have been drafted by a United Nations diplomat. Expedia doesn’t want to alienate hotels, seeks to pick up market share based on Booking Holdings’ more forceful position, but is hitting resort-fee-charging hotels right where it hurts — in the prominence of their listings.

Events

In-Flight Events Are Starting to Slowly Lift Off: So far, these flying meetings are mostly exclusive, invite-only affairs, where sought-after execs network with one another while trapped on a plane.

Business Travel

Stress-Related Mental Health Risks Are Rising for Business Travelers: Risks involving anxiety and depression are making up a larger and larger chunk of first calls to risk management companies. This trend likely won’t slow until companies make fundamental shifts to their corporate culture.

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: The Departure Lounge travel agency in Austin, Texas draws walk-in business with its inviting atmosphere. Departure Lounge