Skift Take

This week in tourism news, after decades of isolation, Myanmar finally opened up to tourists, only to scare them off as it perpetrated genocide against its Rohingya minority. Today, Myanmar has real potential to become a thriving destination again, but only if it can overcome its tendency to enflame ethnic tension. Plus, cruise lines are investing in new experiences on private islands.

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.

Myanmar Tourism Gets a Second Chance: Is It Ready for It? Ethical tourism made Myanmar a lost tourism frontier in Southeast Asia. But people are forgetting the genocide, giving the destination another crack.

Cruise Lines Face New Skepticism on Pollution-Cutting Technology: The cruise industry is compliant with International Maritime Organization pollution guidelines largely through the use of scrubber technology. But this week, critics are once again questioning whether scrubber technology should be allowed in the first place.

Travel Advisors See Advantages of Cruise Lines Expanding Scope of Private Islands: Just as they’ve focused on building bigger and more elaborate ships, cruise lines are now seeking to outdo one another with private islands. MSC Cruises’ eco-conscious approach is commendable, but will it resonate with passengers?

Cruise Lines Ramp Up Investment in Private Island Experiences: Cruise ship private island experiences in the Caribbean are taking off in new directions. With everything from ecotourism and wellness to theme park activities, passengers can do a whole lot more than lie on the beach.

Grassroots Opposition to Cruises in the Caymans Looms as Larger Warning for Industry: A judge ruling on a citizen-led referendum in the Cayman Islands has, for now, sided with cruise opposition. While the battle is localized, it could point to wider industry implications for the cruise industry.

Tourist-Hungry Oklahoma Just Rebranded: Did It Get It Wrong? Oklahoma’s new Imagine That slogan is vulnerable to parody, while its smart-looking logo lacks the lasting impact of a Nike swoosh or a Texas Longhorn decal.

Palestinian Art Center Shines Light to Revive West Bank Tourism: Tucked away in the lively city of Jenin in the West Bank, the Jenin Creative Cultural Center prides itself on offering the perfect blend of local art and culture to welcome visitors. But, being at the heart of the never-ending Middle East peace process, the center has faced difficulties in changing perceptions to attract tourists in a region rife with unrest.

How Luxury Travel Can Build Community and Awareness in Africa: Connecting luxury travelers to the local community and fostering a better understanding of a destination is hard to do well. Here are two examples that the industry can draw inspiration from.

Does Myanmar Tourism Deserve Another Chance? Rather than boycotting travel to Myanmar entirely, a more responsible form of tourism would be to avoid unethical establishments while supporting good practices on the ground.


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Tags: cruise industry, myanmar, tourism

Photo credit: Myanmar's tourism industry is getting another lease on life as the recent genocide fades from memory. Danielle Hyams

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