As I write this, I’m at the 40th annual U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA) conference held on Hawaii Island. It’s been a great week, with all the world’s greatest destinations on hand to showcase their unique identities.
One of the newsworthy events of the conference is the unveiling of the first-ever member survey. (To read more about the survey, visit TravelAgeWest.com/USTOA). One survey finding was that 88 percent of the operators felt optimistic about the year ahead.
As we wrap up this final issue of TravelAge West for 2012, we share the tour operators’ optimism. We have seen significant progress in stabilizing the world economy — with plenty of work left to go, of course — and a return of travel to pre-meltdown numbers. Best of all, the recovery has not left travel agents behind. In fact, according to USTOA members, among others, agents have a renewed power in the industry as the most efficient path for helping consumers realize the trips of their dreams.
So, as we bid goodbye to 2012, please accept my gratitude for your loyalty to TAW. Feel free to send me an email or stop me at an event and let me know what you love about TAW and what you would like us to do better. Until then, have a great new year.