Looking Back:Forward

Kenneth Shapiro One year ago, in our Dec. 20, 2004, issue, I wrote in this column: “Looking ahead to next year, you can expect an even stronger magazine ... focused on emerging destinations, the latest trends and the most innovative companies. We’ll also be debuting a new Web site, with practical online

By: Kenneth Shapiro

One year ago, in our Dec. 20, 2004, issue, I wrote in this column: “Looking ahead to next year, you can expect an even stronger magazine ... focused on emerging destinations, the latest trends and the most innovative companies. We’ll also be debuting a new Web site, with practical online tools and features agents can use to enhance their business.”

Now, here we are at the end of 2005, and overall it has been a great year for the magazine. We had many changes and additions to our staff (including a new Cruise Editor, Alaska Editor, Associate Editor and Assistant Editor, as well as a new Art Director), and I’m proud to say that several of our regular contributing writers published new books and/or won literary awards this past year as well. Also, the magazine as a whole took home several major awards, including two Maggies.

As promised, our stories focused on emerging destinations (including South America, India and Dubai, see page 22), the latest trends (river cruising, group travel, volunteer vacations, etc.) and innovative companies (TRAMS, Sandals, KOR Hotels and more). We also examined complicated topics that are especially important to agents, such as disaster planning and vacation ownership.

Finally, we did indeed launch a Web site that, in addition to having the magazine’s content, has practical tools and features that can enhance your business.

I know, however, there is plenty that we can still do better. Next year, in addition to our usual coverage, we will focus more on technology, industry news and practical topics for agents, such as marketing. We will continue to enhance and update our Web site as well. And we have a few other surprises in the works, too.

We will continue working to create the best magazine possible, however, we can’t do it alone. Please take a few minutes from time to time to send me an e-mail and let me know what we’re doing right and where we can stand to improve. As I said last year, “...you can expect TravelAge West to continue to be your guide on the frontier of travel.” That part will never change. K.S.

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