Skift Take

This week in tourism, the longstanding Pure Michigan marketing campaign will soon go dark. For a minute, Brand USA was similarly in trouble, and we have the story behind Thomas Cook owing at least $12 billion.

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.

Pure Michigan Is the Latest Casualty in U.S. Tourism Promotion Funding: Tourism promotion is in a tough spot in the U.S. The axing of Pure Michigan, a popular and award-winning campaign, is a good example of the reasons why.

Thomas Cook Collapsed Owing at Least $12 Billion: Yes, you read that number correctly. Thomas Cook’s directors have rightly come in for plenty of criticism, but others — including the UK government — need to have their record examined as well.

Congress Renews Brand USA’s Funding in 11th Hour Vote: The United States was well on its way to being one of the world’s only tourism destination powerhouses without a marketing budget. In a rare piece of good news for U.S. tourism this year, Congress has just narrowly avoided that.

Carnival Corp. Closes Out a Tough Year as it Works to Burnish Its Green Image: This year was a tough one for the world’s largest cruise company, and Carnival executives will likely be happy to see it end. But in 2020 many of the same challenges remain, particularly in regards to sustainability.

The State of Middle East Outbound Travel: New Skift Research: Outbound travel from the Middle East hasn’t garnered the attention of some other outbound markets, but given the high travel expenditure and growth of the region, we think this is one that’s worth paying attention to.

Middle Easterners Among the World’s Highest Spenders When They Take a Trip: Middle Eastern travelers spend a lot of money on outbound trips. It’s time the travel industry started paying attention to this region.

Stricter Guidelines on Elephant Tourism Put Thai Travel Agents in Quandary: The Association of British Travel Agents is recommending something that does not exist yet. Only a handful of 250 elephant camps in Thailand are observation-only, with many still offering rides and bathing with elephants. What’s an inbound travel agency to do? Where should the elephants go if everyone follows this suggestion, well-meaning as it is? The debate continues.

New Unique Tours Draw Americans to Singapore But Creators Face Cost Issues: A new generation of entrepreneurs is creating unique tours for visitors to Singapore. But fighting legacy tour players and online travel giants only makes the high costs of doing business harder to do business.

Why Singapore Must Keep Tour Startups Well-Oiled: New players create unique tours such as an inside look at the disappearing trades of Singapore. If they aren’t encouraged and supported, the city’s inbound travel agencies could disappear.

Music Tourism and Millennials Can Be the Right Mix for Travel Advisors: Music travel is gaining popularity as tourists look for new experiences. There are plenty of opportunities for travel advisors, even though some of the big festivals are trying to keep all the business to themselves.

Music Tourism Is a Mixed Score for Travel Advisors: Music tourism, much like adventure or wellness travel, is a fast-growing niche worthy of travel advisors’ attention. Not only does it appeal to all age groups, but clients will appreciate help in obtaining tickets and making travel arrangements built around events.

Luxury Tented Resorts Poised for a Post-Glamping Era: A lot of nature-centric hospitality experiences got lumped under the “glamping” moniker and seemed frivolous as a result. But the space is growing because luxury travelers like the ability to be closer to nature without sacrificing creature comforts.

Rise of Luxury Tented Accommodations Driven by Mindful Travel Movement: The expansion of tented resorts makes sense. More luxury customers are looking for sustainable travel options allowing them to get close to the ground, both literally and figuratively. Meanwhile, new waves of hospitality operators are keen to employ approaches to lodging that are both eco-conscious and profitable.

Which Brand Will Win the Holiday Wearable Battle? After Peloton’s advertising fiasco, other fitness technology brands will likely step it up this season and market themselves as the “It” holiday gift. And because wearables cost so much less than a Peloton bike — even for the top-of-the-line Apple Watch — chances are they’ll see a surge in seasonal sales.

Announcing Our 4 New Skift Summits in 2020: Skift’s promise has always been to go deep into all of travel. Now we are going to take that a step further with four new sub-sector summits in 2020 to complement our broader global forums. We are taking the conversation to the next level.

Skift Forums 2020: Tickets Now on Sale: We have a lot in store for 2020. Join us at one (or more) of our forums this year in Madrid, Singapore, and New York City.

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Tags: tourism, Travel Trends, trends roundups

Photo credit: The long-running Pure Michigan marketing campaign will soon go dark. Sandor Weisz / Flickr

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