Recommend January 2016 - (Page 6)
E d it o r 's N o t e s
If the USTOA member survey findings
released last month during the
organization's annual conference and
marketplace are any indication, 2016 is
going to be a banner year for travel.
Nine in 10 tour operator members
anticipate a growth in sales in 2016 with
more than half of members (57 percent)
"optimistic" and forecasting a "boom
That's me at last month's
year" with growth anywhere from 7 to 10
2015 USTOA Annual
percent. In fact, when members were asked
Conference & Marketplace
how business was in 2015, 75 percent reported
an increase in business, with 40 percent of those saying it was an increase of
10 percent or higher. Additionally, more than 70 percent of members saw an
increase in passengers this past year.
Best part of those numbers is that travel advisors have a major impact on
this growth. Eight-seven percent of members reported using travel agents to
sell their product this past year, and more than half (55 percent) of member
bookings were made through a travel agency in 2015. Going into this new year,
91 percent of members expect business booked by travel agents to maintain
the same or increase.
According to Terry Dale, USTOA's president and CEO, travel advisors are
truly an integral part of the bookings because "you need that educated travel
advisor to guide you to the right product, the right company, and the right price
point. It's so critically important. We are all time-deprived. Yes, we can do a lot
of research, but it takes such diligence, and it takes a lot of time to get it done
right. Kudos to the travel agent community, too, for upping the game when it
comes to education. The professionals are taking it seriously. I think the travel
agent community should feel pretty confident."
You can continue to help that growth by targeting the right client, and
according to USTOA members it's the baby boomers that continue to be
the ideal consumers. Members note that more than half (55 percent) of their
customer base are 51 or older, with the next largest group, representing about
23 percent of customers, being from 35 to 50 years old. Those between 18
and 34 years old accounted for 13 percent of the customer base. And although
multigenerational family travel is still one of the most popular types of travel,
keep an eye on solo travelers because 53 percent of members saw a growth in
the number of solo passengers this past year. Here's to a great 2016!
We have a correction to make: In the Africa piece that was included in the
December issue (page 64), we wrote that the starting price for the 11-day
African Travel, Inc. tour was $6,665; it's actually $7,145.
-Paloma Villaverde de Rico
2016 Delta Air Lines
Caribbean, Mexico & Latin America Guide
In this issue, we've included the 2016 Delta Air Lines Caribbean, Mexico &
Latin America Guide, which highlights the must-do experiences-insider tips,
if you will-for each of Delta's gateways in this region of the world. From tango
lessons in Buenos Aires to museum-hopping in Mexico City, not to mention
scuba diving in Bonaire, Delta's 50+ gateways in the Caribbean, Mexico, and
Central and South America offer an array of vacation experiences.
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6 january 2016
group publisher/editorial director
latin america editor
web editor/copy editor
corporate director of marketing
ad traffic coordinator
laurel a. herman
terence k. murphy
paloma villaverde de rico
michelle marie arean
janet del mastro
chairman/founding editor hal herman
president/editorial director laurel a. herman
executive vice president gary herman
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RECOMMEND, Vol. 31, issue number 4, (ISSN 0034-1452) is published
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend January 2016
Hotel Desk: On Your 2016 Radar
Tour Talk: Travel Impressions
River Cruising: What’s Hot Now
2016 Delta Air Lines Caribbean, Mexico & Latin America Guide
5 Places to Hang in Tokyo
The National Parks: Centennial Celebration
Egypt is Hot!
Recommend January 2016