email as a marketing device. When
asked to name marketing tactics they
use to attract new clients, 76% mentioned email. The number is even
higher among home-based agents, a
phenomenon that was noted in last
Agency websites are a distant sec-
ond, at 57%, followed by flyers, newsletters and newspaper advertising.
Radio and telemarketing are used
Most of agents’ angst related to economy
The state of the economy, and par- anxiety about the economy among
ticularly items relating to the ris- all groups of agents increased con-ing costs of travel, appears to be siderably from last year. Rising air-weighing heavily on agents’ minds, fares, travel costs, the soft economy
more than Internet competition, and weak dollar all measured 8 to
“the hassle factor” or other exter-
nal events. Percent of Agents Indicating Events Impacted Revenue in 2007
The impact of airport hassles and
delays is still being felt by 38% of Events Total
agents this year, down from 43% Rising airfares & fees 59%
in last year’s survey. But security Increased travel costs 49%
and terrorism fears as an issue
dropped from 47% in 2007 to just Devaluation of the 42% dollar
17% in the current study. Concerns
about a poor opinion of the U.S. by Soft U.S. economy 40%
residents of other countries also de- Airport hassles, 38%
When asked to rank-order these Internet competition 37%
issues, agents from large and small Security/terrorism 17%
firms consistently came up with the fears
same results, with no significant dif- Natural disasters 14%
ferences related to size.
When asked a similar question Poor opinion of U.S. 11%
about what events could impact Bird flu, SARS, etc. 7%
their business in the next two years, Other 1%
11 percentage points higher. Also,
traditional retail agents and home-based agents showed similar increased levels of concern.
And, when looking to the future,
fewer agents said they are concerned about Internet competition
than in last year’s study, with this
item dropping from 49% to 33%.
Events That Could Impact Revenue
in Next Two Years
Rising airfares & fees 70%
Increased travel costs 59%
Soft U.S. economy 48%
Devaluation of the dollar 45%
Airport hassles, delays 34%
Internet competition 33%
Security/terrorism fears 14%
Poor opinion of U.S. 9%
Natural disasters 8%
Bird flu, SARS, etc. 4%
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