Confusion and fears surrounding the coronavirus are putting travelers on edge and travel advisors in a difficult spot. Travel advisors can present the facts but should not try to influence cancellation decisions.
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.
With so much fear and uncertainty over the fast-spreading coronavirus, travel advisors have been challenged to keep on top of the situation and deal with the concerns of their understandably worried clients. For many, it’s been a busy couple of weeks of handling cancellations and rescheduling flights and itineraries.
Risk management experts and industry organizations are recommending that travel advisors direct concerned clients to primary sources such as the Centers for Disease Control when making decisions about whether or not to cancel travel plans. Even if there’s little to fear in a destination, it’s up to the client to decide.
Here’s some good advice from Craig Hsu, vice president of Travel Design USA: “As advisors, we do not try and influence our clients’ decisions whether to cancel a trip or not. Every traveler has their own comfort level, and it is our duty to help provide them with the most reliable information for them to make that decision on their own.”
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— Maria Lenhart, Travel Advisor Editor
Travel Advisors Scramble as Coronavirus Rattles Clients: As the coronavirus spreads, so are concerns among travelers. Travel advisors are feeling the effects, coping with cancellations, and providing reassurance to nervous clients.
U.S. Travel Association Unveils 10-Year Agenda at a Turbulent Time for Travel: U.S. Travel is entering a new decade, and the trade group seems to be aware that maintaining growth for the next 10 years will require that it asserts itself politically more than ever before.
The Future of Elephant Tourism Will Be Showcased in This Nepalese Village: It seems far-fetched that a tiny village in Nepal that depends on elephant-back safaris could one day be a million-dollar profit attraction. If this initiative works, it’s a great day for tourism communities.
Spirit Airlines Shifts Growth Strategy From Adding New U.S. Cities: Spirit Airlines entered seven new markets last year. Don’t look for that to happen again in 2020. The airline’s network is reaching maturity.
How Luxury Hotels Are Keeping Up With Green-Friendly Family Travel Trends: The hospitality industry has found that the higher a family’s budget, the more concerned they are about environmental and cultural sustainability. Luxury operations that craft experiences that engage the family, and especially Gen Z, will see the long-tail impact as this generation has more control over vacation decisions.
The Key to Unlocking the Future of Flight-Free Business Travel: Employees are always going to need to travel. Emerging technologies may hold the key to a more sustainable future for corporate travel.
What’s Wrong at Tripadvisor? Question: At Tripadvisor, as a controlled company, what mechanisms did minority shareholders have to pressure Chairman Greg Maffei to make dramatic changes? Answer: Relatively few.
Oracle Hospitality Takes Hotel and Vendor Gripes Seriously: For too long, Oracle Hospitality, a giant in the hotel tech space, has prioritized internal needs. Now it’s changed its tune. It says it’s making hotels the boss. The long overdue customer-first approach is laudable. But there’s still work to do.
News You Should Know
Skift Travel Advisor Editor Maria Lenhart [[email protected]] 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: A couple wearing face masks walk along a deserted pedestrian shopping street during a snowfall in Beijing. Travel advisors have had to step up and manage their clients' increasingly growing concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. Mark Schiefelbein / Associated Press