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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.

What does an upcoming U.S. presidential election — not to mention what may be a prolonged impeachment process — spell for travel advisor sales? If research from Virtuoso on how the last three presidential elections affected sales is an indicator, it could mean a slowdown in growth.

Despite this, heads of some of the major travel advisor networks and organizations are predicting the year ahead will mirror the record-breaking growth of 2019. The strong economy, plus the fact that consumer travel spending seems to be less affected by geopolitical events than it has in years past, could defy the adage that presidential election years put a damper on business.

Industry leaders, however, also said travel advisors should be mindful of protecting bookings by staying engaged with clients and keeping them enthused about travel. After all, taking a vacation from the hot air emanating from the political arena may be more appealing than ever.

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 Stories

Photo: Joe Crimmings/Flickr

U.S. Election Year Aside, Travel Advisor Execs Optimistic About 2020: The adage that U.S. presidential election years are bad for business may or may not hold true for 2020. However, savvy travel advisors may want to put extra effort into keeping clients confident and enthusiastic about upcoming travel plans.

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.

Cruise

Carnial 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.

Business Travel

American Express GBT Just Got a Bunch of New Investors — So What Now? American Express GBT continues to dominate the travel management space, and this new money will only accelerate its growth.

Tourism

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.

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.

Lodging

Hotel and Short-Term Rental Players Face Off Over Regulation: Nobody has found the best formula for regulation of the short-term rental industry. But hotel groups and rental platforms both realize that the outcomes of early battles will set precedents for future laws. This might explain why they are so willing to confront and call each other out publicly.

Why Did U.S.-Based Dream Hotels Drop Its Asia Expansion? Dream Hotel Group had a choppy start in its attempt to expand in Asia. Now it seems to have given up on that dream.

Airlines

JetBlue Founder David Neeleman Selects Salt Lake City as Headquarters for New Airline: Utah has always been a fine place to base a regional airline. But it’s an unusual spot to build what is almost certainly going to be a nationwide carrier. But with technology, founder David Neeleman is betting that where an airline is headquartered no longer matters.

The Top 10 Airline Industry Developments in 2019: It was yet another tumultuous year in the airline industry with many storied names (Thomas Cook, for example) going under and the grounding of one of the world’s best-selling jets (the Boeing 737 Max). No one said aviation was an easy business.

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: Donald Trump speaks during a tax bill passage event in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 20, 2017. The 2020 U.S. presidential election could affect travel advisor sales, yet agency executives are still confident that the year ahead will closely mirror 2019's unprecedented growth. Patrick Semansky / Associated Press