Travel is back.
Despite a year of
mecord fuel costs and
he U.S. airline indus-ry is on the rebound.
The hotel business
s swirling with new
deas, new concepts,
ew brands and new
The cruise lines are
lso growing their
leets, probing new
arkets and pushing
the boundaries of what can be achieved.
On land, tour operators and attractions are
continuing to redefine their products, focusing
with increasing accuracy on clearly de-
fined lifestyle niches.
Obviously, there’s never been a better
time to be a traveler.
What’s not so obvious is whether this
is a good time to be a travel seller.
For the last decade, traditional travel retailers
have been dealing with the double whammy of
commission cuts and the Internet, both of which
arrived, in their first tentative iterations, in 1995.
The story line that has dominated travel retailing ever since is about retailers adapting to dizzying change. More things, good and bad, have
happened to the business model of travel retailing in those 10 years than in the previous 20.
As a result, the industry’s ever-improving array
of travel products is being marketed and distributed by an increasingly diverse community of retailers, ranging from traditional family enterprises
to specialty retailers, Internet retailers, mega-agen-cies, independent travel sellers working at home
or with host agencies and every niche in between.
It is getting harder to generalize about the
Like America, America’s retail travel industry
the aggregate impact of a dynamic business.
Travel Weekly’s 2006 Travel Industry Survey is or-
ganized around two principal research products.
First is our proprietary research conducted by
CIC Research of San Diego, presenting the latest
data on the business mix and marketing activities
of a cross-section of travel sellers.
Second is a package of reports produced in our
research partnership with ASTA, based on ASTA
surveys of agency practices. A separate ASTA survey of members in its affiliate organization, the National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents,
offers updated insights into the world of independent agents.
This issue is the product of two proud tradi-
tions of leadership at Travel Weekly — as the pre-
eminent provider of news and information to
the travel industry and as the source and conduit
More things, good and bad, have happened to the business model of travel retailers in the
10 years between 1995 and 2005 than in the previous 20.
is becoming a culture of subcultures. But there
are certain common themes and values that
still connect all travel sellers, and this special is-
sue is all about common themes, averages and
for definitive research on travel distribution.
It is our hope that the information and insights
contained here will bring value to readers across the
full spectrum of our industry.
With airlines rebounding;
the hotel business swirling with new brands, new
plans; cruise lines growing
their fleets; tour operators
redefining their products,
there’s never been a better
time to be a traveler.
OCTOBER 23, 2006