Skift Take

The coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the cruise industry, with travel advisors caught in the middle as they deal with cancellations and questions from worried clients that are difficult to answer. Among the most troublesome aspects is the uncertainty of how long the crisis will last and how much worse it may get.

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.

It’s been a hectic time for travel advisors with cruise clients, but not in the good way that normally occurs during wave season. Instead of making new cruise sales, many are besieged with cancellations, postponements, and questions from worried clients rocked by the steadily worsening reports of the coronavirus. Not surprisingly, some travel advisors said they were far too busy to answer questions for this story.

Right now the worst thing seems to be the uncertainty about what’s ahead. Will the crisis drag on for months? Will it derail the global economy? Spread to ever-more destinations and local communities?

Many travel advisors are handling the situation with their usual grace under fire so it’s been a time that underscores the value of working with a professional. After the crisis passes, bonds between clients and travel advisors could be stronger 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 [email protected].

— Maria Lenhart, Travel Advisor Editor

Featured Story

Travel Advisors Face Daunting Cruise Business Shake-Up From Coronavirus: The coronavirus is dealing a blow to travel in general, but ship quarantines and other factors may be making cruise especially vulnerable. Travel advisors are scurrying to chart the best way forward for their worried clients.


Marriott Is Already Reopening China Hotels During Coronavirus Crisis: Marriott was already having trouble in Asia-Pacific in 2019 before the coronavirus impact hit. The company isn’t forecasting a major impact outside of Asia, and it’s already reopening hotels inside China. It pays to collect fees — and not actually own or run hotels — during a crisis like this.

How The Peninsula and Others Are Welcoming Refugees With Job Training: The U.S. government in 2020 may have severely limited the number of refugees it would resettle, but a luxury hospitality program taking place in America’s heartland is proof that refugees are still welcome here.


How Bad Will It Get For Airlines When Coronavirus Hits the U.S.? If — or more likely when — coronavirus hits the United States, few travelers will act rationally. That’s bad news for U.S. airlines, which could be flying empty airplanes in the not-too-distant future.

Amadeus Forecasts Meager 1 Percent Air Traffic Growth in 2020 Outside China: Amadeus, the world’s largest provider of ticket distribution and operational software for airlines, is a bellwether for the sector. It had a weak February, but it expects a rebound later this year. The outlook for airlines, however, is less optimistic.


Asia Tourism Tackles Climate Change: It Gets Confusing: Many tourism stakeholders in Asia are finally taking steps to tackle the climate change elephant in the room, but confusion over carbon offsetting is preventing the issue from being addressed swiftly and effectively. Meanwhile, the climate clock ticks on.


Puerto Rico Pushes Through Recent Setbacks to Win Over Event Planners: Puerto Rico is positioning itself as a global events destination, despite January’s seismic activity. With a new marketing campaign and multiple initiatives aimed at attracting planners and attendees, the island’s efforts are starting to pay off.


Sabre to Boost Its Travel Tech Investment by $150 Million This Year: Sabre CEO Sean Menke is right to highlight the progress his business has made during the three years since he took the top job. He’s also right to insist the company needs to invest more in tech to keep up with the travel industry’s pace of digital change. But will investors be patient?

Booking Sites

Booking Channels Rival Expedia and Will Cut Costs Too: Could investors be whispering in Glenn Fogel’s ears that what’s good for Barry Diller’s Expedia Group might be beneficial for Booking Holdings as well? Booking Holdings is usually a first mover in such online travel initiatives, but in this case, when it comes to cost cutting, it appears as though Booking Holdings heard the rumblings emanating from Expedia Group’s Seattle headquarters.

News You Should Know

What Coronavirus Travel Insurance Does and Does Not Cover

Coronavirus: 10 Steps to Follow Before Altering Travel Plans

Paris’ Notre Dame Plaza Could Reopen This Spring

Third Runway at Heathrow Ruled Illegal Due to Climate Change

The Best Credit Cards for Travel Insurance

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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Tags: airlines, coronavirus, cruise, destinations, hotels, technology, tourism, travel advisor innovation report, travel advisors, travel agents

Photo credit: The quarantine of the Diamond Princess is among factors driving cruise cancellations and postponements. Princess Cruises

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