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From the Desk of John McMahon

Dear Valued Supplier,

In a world of information overload, travel agents are flourishing as consumers seek out expert advice to make their travel John McMahondreams a reality.

Our recent white paper noted that 73% of agents report that niche markets are important to their business.

Shouldn’t your brand be in front of hundreds of agents completing niche and specialization training to sell your products, services, and destinations?

Travel Industry Exchange is where it all comes
together — cutting-edge educational programming, one-to-one meetings, and valuable networking. Areas of specialization include luxury travel, cruise, romance travel, and much, much more.

Only Travel Industry Exchange can give you the opportunity to build meaningful relationships that will drive your business forward.

Join us this September and grow your business, your network, and your exposure.

Wishing you much continued success,

John McMahon
EVP/Group Publisher
Travel Agent and Luxury Travel Advisor 

White Paper: Why Specialization is the Key to Future Growth

Travel professionals are flourishing again, thanks to specialization. Information overload is helping drive their resurgenceWhy Specialization is the Key to Future Growth as more consumers look to travel professionals for expert advice. And the Millennial generation is leading the pack, seeking agents who are immersed in niche products to guide them through the process.

  • As a travel professional, do you specialize in a niche?
  • As a supplier, are you connecting with agents who specialize in your product vs. the masses?

Download the white paper to determine where your business fits in such a dynamic industry, and where the potential for growth lies.

Questex White Paper Underscores Move to Travel Professional Specialization

NEW YORK (April 6, 2015) ─ Specialization is the key theme of a white paper recently made available by Questex Travel Group, which highlights the value to travel professionals of becoming more “niche focused.”

Titled “Why Specialization is the Key to Future Growth,” the white paper reveals that the majority of travel professionals advocate specialization and that they are flourishing as a result. The findings are based on a “deep dive” into the subject by Questex Travel Group, which conducted a survey of travel professionals and examined third-party research from sources including the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and MMGY Global of Kansas City, Missouri, Adventure Travel Trade Association of Seattle and Global Wellness Institute of New York.

Prepared in advance of the upcoming Travel Industry Exchange event this September, the white paper is available here.

Examples of niche markets being tapped by travel professionals include luxury travel; weddings and honeymoons; cruise ship travel; health and wellness travel; family and multigenerational travel; sustainable and “voluntourism” travel; and adventure travel.

Underscoring this theme and consumer trends and feedback, Travel Industry Exchange will emphasize niche travel and specialization.  The event will debut Sept. 15-17 in Orlando, Florida, featuring one-to-one appointments, networking events, and educational programs designed to help travel professionals and suppliers build on their specializations and grow their businesses.

John McMahon, Questex Travel Group executive vice president, said Travel Industry Exchange will “delve into the very specialization issues explored in our new white paper” while offering travel professionals “abundant opportunities to network with global suppliers across all markets, with over 60 sessions focused on specific revenue-generating niche segments.”

“While consumers are likely to do their own research, they are seeking out lifestyle consultants and concierges who sell experiences and are experts in a type of travel,” he said. “Specialization allows travel professionals to focus their efforts and gain intimate knowledge and expertise that will make them invaluable partners to their clients, who are looking for authentic and unique experiences.”

While countless websites and meta-search engines promise to put the world at consumers’ fingertips, according to the white paper, many are discovering how difficult it can be to assemble a vacation from raw data. The millennial generation, for example, seen as the future of travel by many industry experts, are most likely to use a travel professional.

Jill Taylor of Chicago-based Jetset World Travel, which specializes in destination, special-occasion and multigenerational travel, is cited in the white paper as saying this age group is looking for experts to help them answer the questions their research can’t.  “Millennials love to plan travel, but they are not 100 percent skilled at it,” she said. “Many people have been burned by booking something online. We don’t take away the fun of their planning; we take away the stress. Younger people like that.”

The inaugural Travel Industry Exchange will bring together travel professionals and lifestyle specialists with international suppliers including destinations, hoteliers, cruise lines, tour operators, transportation providers, technology companies, spas and resorts. The event will include over eight hours of one-to-one meetings, comprehensive education including agent specialty training and networking events and receptions.

The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group of Questex LLC serves the worldwide hospitality, travel and related industries that together contribute over $6 trillion to the global gross domestic product. Through an innovative platform of targeted solutions, the group serves the sector’s entire ecosystem, from tourism and hotel development and investment to hotel design, purchasing, management and operations.

The Questex Hospitality + Travel Group serves every B2B segment of the industry, from investment and development to management operations, sales and marketing of hospitality and travel products to destination development and marketing, via proven demand generation, learning, loyalty and rewards solutions as well as a network of live events. This division of Questex is aligned around three broad market segments – hospitality, travel and meetings – and supported by its Digital Media staff.

Additional information is available at questex.com/markets/hospitality-travel.

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Home-Based Agents Are Reshaping the Travel Agency Landscape

home-based

The accelerated migration of retail travel consultants from storefront agencies to home offices has not only reshaped the travel agency landscape, it’s forced suppliers to rethink how they do business with an increasingly diffuse agent community.

Depending on who’s doing the counting, anywhere from 39% to 52% of the retail travel agency community today is composed of consultants who work from home––or virtual travel agents, as some prefer to be called.

At the same time, growing numbers of retail travel professionals, veterans and newcomers alike, are setting up shop as independents and affiliating with a national host agency or franchise.

Taken together, those two factors have made a significant portion of the travel agent community all-but invisible to suppliers, creating hurdles for agents and suppliers alike.

Read the full story here.