First Free Story (1 of 3)

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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.

Travel’s Moment of Clarity: Sober Tourism Is a Real Business: There have always been travelers who don’t drink, but the “sober curious” lifestyle movement has created a defined market of people who are eager for trips, tours, and experiences that aren’t centered around alcohol. It’s surprising that the travel industry has only just started to respond.

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.

Travel Agency Social Hubs Invite Passersby to Join the Party: Storefront travel agencies may be fewer in number these days, but some are finding success by reinventing themselves as social hubs for their local communities. With imaginative decor and amenities, these agencies are drawing in customers who had previously been unaware of the value of using a travel advisor.

The New and Outgoing Norwegian Cruise CEOs Talk Industry Challenges and Opportunities: Global cruise lines are growing fast, turning ships into theme parks and dining destinations. The simplicity of cruising remains a strong draw for consumers despite sustainability concerns.

Airbnb Signs 9-Year Sponsorship Deal With Olympics Ahead of Tokyo Games: That Airbnb chose the Olympic Games for its first-ever global sponsorship deal makes sense — the event both aligns with the brand’s ethos and will be a boon for its bottom line as it aims to go public in 2020.

EasyJet Seizes on Thomas Cook’s Demise With New Packaged Vacation Offerings:
With Thomas Cook out of the way, there’s certainly more space in the package holiday market. People still want to buy these types of holidays, and EasyJet is a well-known brand.

UK’s Wild Frontiers Buys U.S. Adventure Operator Myths & Mountains as Asia Demand Rises: In the post-experiences world, one sector that will keep thriving is niche adventure tour operators that really know what they are talking about. They take clients backstage to explore exotic places and leave little footprint — but deposit lots of dollars in local communities.

Companies Still Miss the Mark When Measuring Biz Traveler Experience: Employee engagement is a hot topic in both the business travel space and the events space. The problem is that no one has yet figured out how to accurately track it.

Retail Giants Test Direct-to-Consumer Wellness Brands: It’s low-risk for big brands like Gap and Express to launch digital-native wellness brands considering the unfit state of brick-and-mortar sales. If these companies find success, other retailers may follow suit.

Photo Credit: Travelers are looking for more alcohol-free trips and experiences. Contiki