February 5, 2019 View in browser

Has the element of surprise gone out of travel in an age where destination videos, images, and reviews are posted everywhere on social media?

Travel advisors specializing in the growing trend of mystery travel clearly think so. That's why some are making a business out of keeping trip details a secret from clients until the day of departure. While it has proven popular among some travelers who enjoy the sense of discovery, it requires advisors to carefully research their clients' preferences and travel history before making choices on their behalf.

Even then there are unforeseen challenges such as weather, requiring last-minute changes that can add up to planning an alternate trip. Skift spoke with several travel advisors engaging in this intriguing approach to travel planning about the rewards and pitfalls involved.

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 mbl@skift.com.

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FEATURED STORIES
Travel Advisors Work in Mysterious Ways to Put Discovery Into Vacations

The allure of a mystery vacation is growing for some travelers as the world continues to shrink, thanks to an overwhelming flood of photos and videos on social media about the world's great destinations. We see this sector as one set to continue its growth in coming years.


Virtuoso Looks to Help Agencies Get Beyond the Daily Grind

Virtuoso is a you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours kind of business. The luxury travel network has some good programs to help member agencies, and that increases engagement with Virtuoso. It also provides learnings on how to keep refining the company.


Royal Caribbean Is Getting Chinese Cruisers Out of China

Royal Caribbean has spent more than a decade in China building a reputation and customer base. Now that work appears to be paying off in a global way. It won't hurt travel advisors at all that the cruise line is expanding its customer base.

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Caesars Doubles Down on Its Non-Gaming Strategy With New Brand

You can bet the incredible brand recognition of the Caesars name will still prove to be a double-edged sword as Caesars tries to delve deeper into the non-gaming space. It could be a nice alternative for travel advisor clients who favor Chilean sea bass over baccarat.


Travel Megatrends 2019: Everything Is Converging in Hospitality

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Hotel Direct Booking Efforts Create Lasting Loyalty

Two years in, it appears that consumers didn't just sign up for the loyalty programs to get a discount. Or even if they did, they've also come to realize the additional benefits of booking direct, including through travel advisors with access to the chains' loyalty rates.

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Priceline Wields New Firepower in Defense Department Deal

Military family members notice when businesses are military-friendly. This deal with the Pentagon is certainly a win for the Priceline brand, if not a gargantuan boost for its business.

BONUS STORY JUST BECAUSE
This Dietician Wanted to Make Taco Bell Healthier: She Got the Job

You're probably better off not recommending Taco Bell to your clients, but we'd bet a lot more go there than will admit it. Anyway, maybe the haute cuisine there is about to get healthier.

Skift Travel Advisor Editor Maria Lenhart [mbl@skift.com] 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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