Chinese Tour Groups Don’t Always Deliver a Boost to Destinations

guido da rozze  / Flickr

Destinations including Thailand, Vietnam and Russia are trying to ensure that tour groups from China put more money into the economies they’re visiting. Pictured is Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Vietnam. guido da rozze / Flickr

Skift Take: It’s a classic overtourism quandary: Will an influx of visitors be good for a destination — or will those visitors drain resources without giving much back to the local economy? This story illustrates how countries are pondering the issue when it comes to tour groups from China.

— Hannah Sampson

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Ryan Wolkov

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SeaWorld’s Executive Purge and 6 Other Tourism Trends This Week

Beth V  / Flickr

SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, on February 12, 2018. The company is seeing numerous executives leave as it struggles to recover from backlash related to the documentary film Blackfish. Beth V / Flickr

Skift Take: This week in tourism, an executive exodus continues at SeaWorld, which just can’t shake the pall of Blackfish. Meanwhile, TUI is buying an in-destination services business from Hotelbeds, a company that TUI previously sold. Sometimes the past comes back to help, not haunt.

— Sarah Enelow

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Wedding Travel Is Seeing Higher Spending by Attendees

RJ  / Flickr

A beach wedding on August 15, 2017. Wedding attendees are spending more money on destination ceremonies and related out-of-town events. RJ / Flickr

Skift Take: So, you wanted more meaningful experiences? Congratulations. Traveling to the wedding is now just part of your expensive obligation, which includes out-of-town showers and bachelor parties, which also eat up your two measly weeks of vacation. Financially, you may have to turn a party for someone else’s love into your only summer vacation.

— Sarah Enelow

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U.S. Pilot Shortage Claims an Airline and 5 Other Aviation Trends This Week

Brandon Wade

American Airlines employee at Miami International Airport on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. The U.S. is experiencing a pilot shortage. Brandon Wade

Skift Take: This week in aviation, we’re trying not to focus on United’s stream of public relations nightmares, but we’re perhaps spending more time analyzing the U.S. pilot shortage and the unnecessary frills of business class.

— Sarah Enelow

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Sabre Searches for Deal as the Air France-KLM Distribution Surcharge Looms

Air France

An Air France A380. Travelport was the first global distribution system to strike a deal with Air France-KLM over airline surcharges. Air France

Skift Take: Wasn’t the whole point of these surcharges to prevent the global distribution systems from taking a cut of that juicy ancillary money that is now flowing in? One has to wonder what the terms of Air France-KLM’s deal with Amadeus and Travelport really are. For now, it looks like the global distribution systems that took the new distribution capability seriously are reaping the rewards.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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Hilton Boosts Its Loyalty Program With Elite Bonuses

Andrew Kelly  / Reuters

An exterior shot of the Hilton Midtown in New York June 7, 2013. The chain is making some big changes to Hilton Honors. Andrew Kelly / Reuters

Skift Take: Updates to Hilton’s loyalty program will soon make Hilton Honors more lucrative for elite travelers. Between those tweaks and last year’s cash and points upgrades, Hilton is bringing a strong loyalty program to the table for 2018.

— Grant Martin

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U.S. Pilot Shortage Claims a Casualty: Will More Airlines Shut Down?

Tomás Del Coro  / Flickr

A Great Lakes Beechcraft Beech 1900D taxis in Las Vegas in 2011. The airline is selling most of its assets because it doesn’t have enough pilots. Tomás Del Coro / Flickr

Skift Take: Great Lakes Airlines is essentially going out of business. The Regional Airline Assocation is using this as a chance to lobby politicians to relax requirements on pilot training. But that’s probably not necessary. There’s reason to believe the Great Lakes situation was unique.

— Brian Sumers

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Dubai Agency HolidayMe Raises $12 Million: Travel Startup Funding This Week

HolidayMe

Geet Bhalla (left) and Digvijay Singh are co-founders of HolidayMe, an online travel based in Dubai that is becoming a leading online travel agency. HolidayMe

Skift Take: As winter gives way to spring, at least in the northern hemisphere, startups raised more than $24 million to expand online travel booking and planning in the Middle East and Europe. Just in time for consumers planning summer trips.

— Sean O’Neill

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Aman Exec Wants Luxury Travel To Be a Family Affair

Skift

Aman Chief Operating Officer Roland Fasel spoke in the Skift Take Studio about luxury trends and his company’s desire to cater to families. Skift

Skift Take: Aman wants to create more customers for life by catering to families with kids and teenagers. It’s a smart long-term strategy, but the company will need to involve younger travelers in a way that makes sense for a luxury brand.

— Hannah Sampson

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