Saudi Arabia Aims to Make Red Sea Beaches a Tourism Hotspot

Vivian Nereim  / Bloomberg

American tourist Birgit Mitchell visiting Mada’in Saleh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Saudi Arabia, with her guide Yasser Al Imam. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. Saudi Arabia wants to turn hundreds of kilometers of its Red Sea coastline and nearby mountains and deserts into a global tourism destination Vivian Nereim / Bloomberg

Skift Take: The long-discussed first phase of the Red Sea project, with 14 hotels and an airport, is due in 2022. We’ll believe it’s not a mirage when we see it.

— Sean O’Neill

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Wow Air’s Shutdown Prompts Recession Fears in Iceland

Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir  / Bloomberg

Security doors stand illuminated at night at the entrance to Iceland’s central bank in capital city Reykjavik in this 2012 photo. Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir / Bloomberg

Skift Take: Iceland’s tourism growth had seemed unstoppable. But as Skift has said for years, every geopolitical upheaval today can be traced back to the travel sector in some way. Policy planners need to adequately account for it.

— Sean O’Neill

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Navigating Cruise Sales Is Sink or Swim for Travel Advisors

Viking River Cruise

River cruising, such as a Viking River Cruise, has more commission opportunities for travel advisors than some mass-market sailings do. Viking River Cruise

Skift Take: With more cruise choices than ever before, there are plenty of opportunities for travel advisors to boost earnings from cruise sales. Doing so, however, means taking a proactive approach to education and customer service.

— Maria Lenhart

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Ryanair Forecasts That Flyers Will Welcome Back Boeing 737 Max Upon Return

Ryanair

Ryanair aircraft. CEO Michael O’Leary anticipates that travelers will be open to the return of the Boeing 737 Max. Ryanair

Skift Take: Low-cost airline Ryanair anticipates that customer reaction to the Boeing 737 Max will be positive once it’s back in service. As the largest European buyer of the grounded jetliner, the company can only hope that truly will be the case.

— Faye Chiu

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