INDSUurSve Ty RY
A wise old wisecracker once advised that
the world is divided into two groups
of people: those who divide the world
into two groups of people and those
who do not.
About travel agents, of course, he
Everybody knows there are three
kinds of travel agents. Most readers
will immediately recognize brick-and-mortar, online and at-home. But does
that tell the full story? How about corporate, leisure and full-service?
How about independent, consortium member
and franchise? ARC recognizes headquarters,
branch and single-location, but what about proprietorship, partnership,
These traditional distinctions, although still
useful, have bedeviled
analysts in recent years
as the agency community
has become increasingly
fragmented and stratified
by product niche, location, clientele, affiliation and other characteristics.
ing at travel agents.
In this issue, for the first time, we present a way of
looking at travel agents that is not based on where
they work or what they sell, how much they sell or
how they sell it.
Rather, we commissioned noted travel industry
researcher Stanley C. Plog to devise a psychographic analysis that identifies travel agents based on
how they feel about what they do, how they relate
to the work they do, how they look at their professional lives.
Plog calls them Contenteds, Careerists and
Searchers. As you read more about them you
will recognize their character traits and see those
traits in people you
know. You might see
Travel Industry Survey
has always been built
around a core presentation of numbers
describing the characteristics of the agency
market, the size and
business mix of travel
agencies, their marketing practices and sup-
in people you
know. You may
A NEW VIEW
Wallace Stevens suggested 13 ways of looking at
a blackbird. Perhaps there are new ways of look-
That material is presented here as always, but
the psychographic analysis adds a dimension that
may tell us much more in the future about how the
agency business is evolving.
For the 2007 Travel Industry Survey we also commissioned Plog to undertake a series of exclusive interviews with a score of top travel industry marketing executives to obtain their insights on the state of
the business and its prospects.
Under our continuing research partnership with
ASTA, we include in this year’s Travel Industry Survey two reports based on ASTA surveys of Web and
technology use among ASTA agents and on the GDS
arrangements of ASTA agencies.
A third ASTA survey of members in its affiliate
organization, the National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents, forms the basis for a report
presenting the latest data on the growth and operations of independent agents.
We value our tradition of leadership in the field
of original research on travel distribution and travel
distributors. Our hope is that adding a new dimension will build on this tradition while enhancing the
value our readers derive from new insights.