Dear Travel Professional:
In a dynamic business like trav-
el, we are accustomed to change
and to the increasing pace of
change. This year, however, our
entire economy has been jolted
by waves of economic and fi-
The unprecedented volatility
of oil prices and stock market
values would have been reason
enough to call 2008 an unusu-
al year. But the extraordinary
events on Wall Street and in Wash-
ington in the last two months have
taken us into uncharted territory.
There is no crystal ball to help us
understand how these events will
affect travel demand and the business of travel distribution. But experience has shown that in times of
uncertainty, nothing can be taken
for granted. Every bit of information, every insight, could be a piece
of the puzzle, the key to sustaining
Our goal at Travel Weekly always
has been to bring our readers the
news and information they need,
when they need it. An important
component of this commitment has
been the sponsorship of original research into the characteristics of the
U.S. travel agency market.
We are pleased to fulfill that commitment again in this, our 50th anniversary year.
In the 2008 Travel Industry Survey, noted travel industry researcher
Stanley Plog continues an analysis he began last year that looks at
travel agents on the basis of psychographic as well as traditional economic characteristics.
Plog also presents a new look at
the debate over Internet distribution, revealing some stark differences between the perceptions of agents
And under our continuing research partnership with ASTA, we
feature updated reports on GDS
and technology usage and independent agents.
As the travel industry moves into
the final months of a difficult year
and prepares for better days, we
hope this issue will provide some
of the answers and some of the insights that will make a difference for
all of us.
Vice President & Publisher