Reason for Optimism

Survey shows West is where it's at

By: Duke Anderson

There is no need to tell you that the past couple of years have not been the greatest for the travel industry wars, economic woes, SARS, etc. But fret no more, my friends. There are plenty of reasons for optimism in the new year. All recent signs indicate that the economy is coming back in a big way. With that, naturally, comes increased consumer confidence and spending.

These trends are clearly illustrated in Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s 2004 Travel Trends Survey. For instance, 83 percent of the survey respondents said that their bookings are even or up when compared to the same time in 2003, and 85 percent said they are “very optimistic” or “fairly optimistic” about their business for 2004.

And the news is particularly good for the West. Agents were asked to forecast the top domestic destinations for 2004 based on their bookings to date. The results: Seven of the top 10 destinations are in the West.

It just goes to show what TravelAge has always known: The West is not only home to the best travel agents, but to the top destinations as well. Which is why we are so excited about bringing you “all the travel you can sell” each issue.

(For full survey results, visit