How Second-Tier Cities Sell Luxury Travel and 13 Other Tourism Trends This Week

How Second-Tier Cities Sell Luxury Travel and 13 Other Tourism Trends This Week

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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.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

>>Now’s your chance to save on our fourth annual Skift Global Forum: Save With Early Bird Tickets to Skift Global Forum NYC

>>At a time when climate change is already affecting destinations and scientific research is under attack in many parts of the world, millions of travelers — lured by their love of local foods — help make agritourism a factor that tourism boards can’t ignore: Local Food Trend Keeps Farms at Center of Tourism Strategies

>>At the same time that many companies are implementing more traveler-friendly policies in order to make life better for their business travelers, fear and anxiety caused by politics and safety issues may be undercutting those gains: Business Travelers Are Stressed About Safety and Work-Life Balance

>>The luxury market is leaning heavily on emerging markets’ growing incomes and aspirational lifestyles, so it must be prepared to weather changes in this demand by keeping personalization and authenticity at the forefront: Luxury Travel Spending From Emerging Markets Will Slow in Coming Years

>>Well-appointed luxury comes at less than a premium in smaller markets, and it’s an excellent entry point to demonstrate high-quality hospitality for a new generation of travelers put off by high-priced glitz: Second- and Third-Tier Cities Have a New Way of Selling Luxury Travel

>>China’s neighbors stand to benefit most from hundreds of millions of Chinese tourists. But as the past few months have shown, Chinese demand can shift rapidly: 5 Charts Showing How Chinese Travelers Have Boosted Asia-Pacific Tourism

>>This is not your grandfather’s keynote. Choosing the right speaker to engage an audience is more complex than ever before: What Are Conferences Looking for in a Speaker? Interactivity and Sensitivity

>>Finding the best speakers for a meeting or event involves much more than asking whether they’ll be entertaining or not: The Next-Gen Conference Speaker Is Sensitive — Meetings Innovation Report

>>Six Flags Entertainment is continuing to look for ways to bring visitors to its parks without shelling out a ton of money on expensive new construction: Six Flags Is Adding Water Parks to Wring More Money From Visitors

>>Tourists plan entire trips around food with increasing frequency. This has changed the idea of a restaurant as travelers seek immersive dining experiences outside of the traditional seated dinner: Video: Noma and VizEat COOs Explain the Changing Dynamic of Food Tourism

>>While emerging economies in Asia and Africa will see the greatest business travel increase over the next decade, according to WTTC forecasts, the U.S. and China will remain the largest global business travel markets: Emerging Markets Will Drive Business Travel Growth Over Next Decade

>>Travel managers and buyers are looking for fresh solutions to improve quality of life for their travelers: Corporate Travel Leaders Try to Change the Conversation — Skift Corporate Travel Innovation Report

>>Our New Luxury newsletter gives you unique insight into the changing world of high-end travel: Smarter Travel Agents, Emerging Markets and More — Skift New Luxury

>>Tune in to our first backstage podcast from Skift Forum Europe for insight on how the world is changing for travel — and how the industry is responding: Skift Backstage Podcast: Global Tourism in a Volatile Time

Photo Credit: A rendering of a room in the new 21c Museum Hotel in Oklahoma City, a potential new luxury market. 21c Museum Hotels

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April 30, 2017 at 10:00AM

Pence Really Thought He’d Be President by Now

Pence Really Thought He’d Be President by Now

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WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Commenting on Donald Trump’s first hundred days in office, Vice-President Mike Pence told Fox News on Sunday, “To tell you the truth, I really thought I’d be President by now.”

“When I agreed to run on the ticket with him, I said to myself, ‘Mike, after he’s been in the White House for a few weeks, he’ll be a total train wreck and you’ll be able to slide into the big-boy chair,’ ” Pence said. “I never in a million years thought he’d last a hundred days. My best guess was thirty.”

The former Indiana governor said that, with such seemingly fatal missteps as Trump’s failed health-care plan and travel bans, as well as any number of unhinged outbursts, “It feels like I’ve come close to getting in there maybe ten or twelve times. But close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”

Calling the past hundred days “the longest hundred days of my life,” Pence said that he has no choice now but to “sit and wait for my moment.”

“I’m a man of faith, and I believe that the Lord has a plan for me,” he said. “But if another hundred days come and go and I’m still not President, you are going to see one pissed-off Mike Pence.”

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April 30, 2017 at 09:44AM

The Museum of Ice Cream Pop-Up Is Now Open in Los Angeles

The Museum of Ice Cream Pop-Up Is Now Open in Los Angeles

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The pop-up Museum of Ice Cream, which saw an extremely successful launch in New York City last year, completely selling out within its first five days, just relocated to the sunny West Coast, opening April 22 in LA’s trendy DTLA Arts District. As of this writing, tickets are sold out through May 29, but you can still purchase them — $29 for adults, $18 for children ages 3-12 and seniors over 60 — and visit between June 2 and July 10, 2017. The new space is four times the size of the one in NYC, so we’re hoping more people get a chance to check it out.

Last year’s NYC pop-up was home to funky ice cream art — like a giant ice cream sandwich swing, ice cream cone lights and an ice-cream-scoop seesaw — as well as edible treats like ice cream (obviously), artisanal waffle cones and sugar balloons filled with helium. This year, LA’s version features 10 ice-cream-centered installations, including favorites like the interactive sprinkle swimming pool — filled with 100 million custom-designed sprinkles — and a melted popsicle jungle. Make sure you save room for curated ice cream tastings in between all these incredible photo-ops. To visit and eat your way through this awesome museum, grab your tickets ahead of time online through the link above. And don’t forget: each admission comes with not one, but two complimentary ice creams. Enjoy!

H/T: Los Angeles Daily News

Featured image courtesy of Museum of Ice Cream’s Facebook Page.

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April 30, 2017 at 09:13AM

News: British Airways to revamp JFK’s Terminal 7

News: British Airways to revamp JFK’s Terminal 7

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British Airways has unveiled details of a multi-million pound redesign of New York JFK’s Terminal 7, which is expected to be completed at the end of 2018. New CGI images provide a glimpse of what the terminal will look like following investment of more than £52 million.

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April 30, 2017 at 05:47AM

News: Wyndham Hotel Group expands in the Caribbean

News: Wyndham Hotel Group expands in the Caribbean

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Wyndham Hotel Group has opened its first properties in South America, stepping up its presence in Latin America and the Caribbean to 200 hotels.

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April 30, 2017 at 05:39AM

News: Sony and Eurostar launch ‘Sound Menu’

News: Sony and Eurostar launch ‘Sound Menu’

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Sony and Eurostar have partnered to offer passengers the new ‘Sound Menu’, optimised for use with Sony’s 1000X wireless headphones with industry leading noise cancelling technology.

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April 30, 2017 at 05:39AM

News: IHG expands in Greater China

News: IHG expands in Greater China

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IHG has unveiled HUALUXE Zhangjiakou as its 300th open property in Greater China. The hotel becomes IHG’s fifth for the HUALUXE Hotels and Resorts brand and the only international-branded, upscale hotel in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province, one of the host cities for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

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April 30, 2017 at 05:28AM

The Banal Horror of Arkansas’s Executions

The Banal Horror of Arkansas’s Executions

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By the opaque reasoning of capital punishment, the state of Arkansas grew some unknowable fraction safer last Monday evening, when Jack Jones, a fifty-two-year-old, overweight, hypertensive, diabetic amputee, was strapped to a gurney in the Cummins Unit prison and administered drugs to successively sedate him, impair his breathing, stop his heart, and kill him. According to the state’s timeline, the process was a model of efficiency, taking only fourteen minutes to complete—less time than one might spend registering a vehicle at the Little Rock D.M.V. This was significant, as the night’s work was just getting started. Arkansas was staging the first double execution in the United States since 2000. Three hours later, Marcel Williams, a forty-six-year-old man who also suffered from diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, was strapped to the same gurney, injected with the same cocktail of drugs, and declared dead within seventeen minutes.

See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

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April 30, 2017 at 03:30AM

Pool Time in Beverly Hills!

Pool Time in Beverly Hills!

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Speaking of…

Today’s daily photo features one of the founders of Plotagraph! If you look around the Plotagraph site, you’ll probably see even more photos of her… the full story below! 🙂

Daily Photo – Pool Time in Beverly Hills!

One day while we were staying at one of my art collector’s homes in Beverly Hills, we had the team from Plotagraph over, Troy and Sascha. We were having a little catch-up session on Plotagraph, and my friend Tom Anderson was there too (you know, MySpace Tom!). Anyway, we were both ready to take some photos, and since Sascha is a model, she offered to slink around the pool a bit. Troy was really funny – he’s a Photographer as well – but he knows how to talk to models… so he was yelling out this and that and cracking me and Tom up… I’ll get a recording next time!

Pool Time in Beverly Hills!

Photo Information


  • Date Taken2017-03-13 06:12:39
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length31.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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April 30, 2017 at 02:27AM

Final Tasks To Do Before Delta and Alaska Divorce on Sunday

Final Tasks To Do Before Delta and Alaska Divorce on Sunday

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The end of this relationship has been a long time in coming, but we’re now counting down the final hours of the Delta-Alaska partnership. As previously announced, effective Monday, May 1, the two airlines will no longer have any connection to each other except for an interline agreement, making Sunday their final day together.

Much like any long and drawn-out breakup, Sunday is really just the day that makes things official — these two have been on the outs for a very long time. They were a happy couple for many years, but it all started going downhill when Delta began unapologetically making an aggressive push into Alaska’s territory. Devaluations followed as both sides reduced the number of miles it would award for flights on the other, and by the end of 2014, TPG himself was predicting that the two airlines would cut ties with a year or two.

In 2015 Delta downgraded Alaska from a Group 1 to a Group 4 partner, which meant you couldn’t even earn Delta Medallion Qualifying Miles for Alaska flights anymore. Throughout that year, Delta continued its rapid expansion in Seattle, making multiple efforts to poach Alaska customers with promotions focused on Seattle-based flyers. By the time the Alaska-Virgin America merger was underway in 2016, it was clear to everyone that the relationship with Delta was doomed and all that remained was to file the paperwork.

IMG-delta-alaska-sea-las-award2
Delta now charges more for partner awards, which includes Alaska flights.

So now, in these last few days, what’s left for us kids to do? Well, you still have through tomorrow to book any award tickets on either airline using the other airline’s miles. You can access flights to the end of the schedule, so you can book tickets up through nearly a year from now and the reservations will be honored even after the partnership is over. But since earlier this month Delta started charging higher award rates for partner bookings than it does for its own flights — a change it made without notice as usual — most Alaska flights using Delta miles will cost more than Delta flights using Delta miles, and in some cases substantially more. Still, since Alaska miles are worth substantially more than Delta SkyMiles, you might consider burning a less valuable currency and save your Mileage Plan miles for more lucrative redemptions.

Also, if you have flights on either Delta or Alaska that were booked before December 19, 2016, this is your last chance to set your frequent flyer information to credit them where you want them to go, even if you won’t be flying before Sunday. You can also lock in elite benefits such as advance seat assignments for flights later this year, so long as you do it before the clock strikes midnight on Sunday.

Yes, it’s a sad day when a couple goes their separate ways, but hopefully Alaska and Delta will find healthy ways to move on from each other. Just don’t invite them both to the same dinner party anytime soon.

H/T: Rapid Travel Chai

Featured image courtesy of PG/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images.

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April 29, 2017 at 05:54PM

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