Travel Advisor Execs Bullish on 2020 Sales Outlook Despite Politics

Patrick Semansky  / Associated Press

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

Skift Take: There may be turmoil on Capitol Hill and a contentious presidential election up ahead, but travel advisor leaders don’t expect it to put a damper on 2020 sales. They are, however, keeping an eye on the economy and said travel advisors should be extra proactive in keeping clients enthused and confident about travel.

— Maria Lenhart

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Music Tourism Is a Mixed Score for Travel Advisors

Chris Pizzello  / Associated Press

This April 13, 2012 photo shows festivalgoers running toward the main stage to catch the beginning of Kendrick Lamar’s set during the first weekend of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. Music is playing an increasing role in travel plans. Chris Pizzello / Associated Press

Skift Take: Music tourism, much like adventure or wellness travel, is a fast-growing niche worthy of travel advisors’ attention. Not only does it appeal to all age groups, but clients will appreciate help in obtaining tickets and making travel arrangements built around events.

— Maria Lenhart

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Music Tourism and Millennials Can Be the Right Mix for Travel Advisors

Zack Smith  / New Orleans and Co.

New Orleans street musicians delight visitors. Travelers are increasingly tying their travel plans to their musical inclinations. Zack Smith / New Orleans and Co.

Skift Take: Music travel is gaining popularity as tourists look for new experiences. There are plenty of opportunities for travel advisors, even though some of the big festivals are trying to keep all the business to themselves.

— Allan Leibowitz

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Unpacking TUI’s New Hotel Strategy

TUI Group

A TUI Blue property. TUI Group intends to open up its new online ecosystem to independent hotels. TUI Group

Skift Take: Not only is TUI making a big bet on its own branded hotels, it wants to try and get independent hotels onto its new digital platform. How many are really going to want to get involved, and might it be better to try to fix its underperforming tour operator division?

— Patrick Whyte

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The Most Important Story in Hotels in 2019

Marriott International

Shown here is Villa Pura, a seaside property in Costa Brava, Spain, offered by Homes & Villas by Marriott International. Marriott International

Skift Take: The tug-of-war between hotels and short-term rentals intensified in 2019, with both sides making strategic moves to display their strength. There were wins and losses for everyone, and the result so far has been a deeper blurring of the lines between the two sectors.

— Nancy Trejos

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What Have Hotels Done on Cybersecurity Since the Marriott Hack?

rh2010  / Adobe

The hotel industry is struggling to protect their guests from data breaches on their mobile devices. rh2010 / Adobe

Skift Take: Hotels are ripe for data breaches, with all the information guests provide them. The Marriott hack sounded a wake-up call when revealed last year. But hotels have been slow to come up with ways to protect their guests.

— Nancy Trejos

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New Report: Leveraging Hotel Loyalty to Design Successful Business Travel Programs

Skift Take: Out-of-policy booking is a significant challenge in the business travel sector. Managers want employees to use approved tools and partners. But their business travelers frequently ignore those demands, choosing to purchase whatever is most convenient, cheap, or easy to use. Could hotel loyalty programs offer a solution to the impasse?

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