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.

After a couple of years of record sales, it’s little wonder that many travel agencies are looking to expand. The major roadblock is finding experienced travel advisors to carry their growth plans forward.

For some agencies, the quickest answer is acquiring other agencies where there are already seasoned staff on board. The fact that more travel agency owners are reaching retirement age and formulating succession plans is creating acquisition opportunities. Buyers need to know, however, that merging agency cultures is no easy task.

Other agencies are expanding by strengthening the host side of their business, taking steps to attract more independent travel advisors, including those new to the industry. Some are opening new regional offices designed to foster better outreach to independents, especially those who are home-based.

No matter which path agencies take for expansion, they all attest to the robust environment for retail travel in the United States.

Also, note that today we are debuting a new feature called News You Should Know, a collection of stories we have identified as having some real potential usefulness for your businesses (see below).

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

A café in Avoya Travel’s new innovation center in San Diego County, Calif. Photo: Avoya Travel

Major Travel Agencies Are on a Consolidation and Expansion Fast Track: Travel agencies are poised for expansion, but the major challenge is finding travel advisors to fill new positions. Acquiring agencies and enticing newcomers to join the industry are ways around it.

Tourism

Asian Destinations Reel From China’s Outbound Travel Ban: For a string of Asian destinations, China is by far the number one market, so the outbound travel ban that became effective Monday there has shaken tourism businesses even though they know it is for the good.

Coronavirus’ Effect on the Travel Industry Deepens as Global Emergency Is Declared: While the World Health Organization has stopped short of calling for a shutdown of global travel and trade, many travel companies are limiting their operations to reduce the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their financials while helping to safeguard public health.

Airlines

United, American, Delta Drop Flights to China After State Department Issues Guidance: U.S. airlines had no choice. Their customers and their crew members do not want to go to China. Why should they fly empty planes there?

Aviation Wants U.S. to Trust It to Fix Its Own Green Problems. Should We? Airlines have tried to get out in front of regulators when it comes to sustainability. But their tweaks and solutions only scratch the surface of the problem. In 20 years’ time, will we all look back on an era of frequent flying as one of dangerous excess?

Technology

Wex Buys Enett From Travelport for $1.7 Billion in a Travel Payments Mashup:
With this deal, Wex now becomes a powerhouse in assisting business-to-business travel payments worldwide. The deal also gives cash to seller Travelport, which might use the money to expand its airline tech offerings.

Wellness

Where the Travel Industry Will Intersect With Wellness in 2020: Wellness trends come and go, but travel companies in 2020 are increasingly looking toward ancient traditions to find practices that are built to last.

Hotels

Oyo’s Global Downsizing Hits U.S. as One-Third of Staff is Fired in Biz Model Shift: If the cliché “no pain, no gain” applies to disruptor Oyo, then the chain is clearly in the pain part of that equation. The brand has definitely taken a huge reputational hit that will play out for months. There are certainly positives in Oyo’s renewed value proposition to many properties if the chain doesn’t trip over itself.

News You Should Know

Fatal Crashes Prompt Calls for Stricter Oversight of Hawaii Helicopter Tours

Cruise Lines Invest Heavily in Private Island Amenities

Atari Plans Hotel Chain With Video Game Theme

MSC Cruises Foundation Launches Initiative to Save Coral Reefs

New Vacation Rental Service Focuses on Female Travelers

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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.

Photo Credit: The living wall in Avoya Travel's new innovation center in San Diego County, Calif. The agency said it added 500 travel advisors in 2019. Avoya Travel