Travel Advisor Trends Point to Strong New Decade for the Travel Industry

Travel Leaders Group reports on travel trends and its position for growth

New York, NY (January 22, 2020) Travel Leaders Group executives and industry experts gathered in New York today to review the travel trends and issues that shaped the last decade, and to forecast what the next decade holds for the travel industry. CEO J.D. O’Hara spoke of his time at the very beginning of Travel Leaders Group’s formation, and the issues that were facing the industry, and contrasted that to the opportunities that exist for world of travel today.

We are tremendously optimistic about the long-term prospects for our company, especially if we stay focused on our key three tenets: provide the highest quality support and tools to the travel advisor, impeccable service to traveler and unsurpassed value to preferred supplier partners.

“In 2008, industry experts said travel agents were dinosaurs, on their way to becoming extinct, and were going to be put out of business by the Internet and the do-it-yourselfers,” O’Hara commented. “But at Travel Leaders Group, we understood that our clients relied on their advisors and that we were not in the same business as online travel agencies. We knew that, as the complexity of the travel marketplace grew, this was a distribution channel that had tremendous potential for growth.”

Trends across the last decade heralded the rise of the travel advisor:

  • Technology and an explosion of information expanded the boundaries of travel.
  • Social media, influencers and FOMO (fear of missing out) broadened people’s horizons.
  • Ride-sharing and home-sharing apps spurred travelers’ sense of adventure.
  • Travelers’ quests for authenticity and experiences spurred trends like culinary travel and a new definition of luxury travel.
  • Families sought new adventures to bring them together.

Travel Leaders Group’s experts predicted that in the next decade, travel and the role of the travel advisor will expand:

  • Travelers will seek hyper-personalization and self-fulfillment through travel.
  • The company’s 2020 Travel Trends survey of 2,000 consumers indicated they plan to travel more and spend more this year.
  • The number of Americans with passports hit a record high: In 1990, only 4 percent of Americans had one. Last year, the number reached more than 42 percent.
  • Industry and Travel Leaders Group’s research show that the more complex and expensive the trip is, the more likely people are to use a travel advisor.
  • Travel agencies book 75 percent of all U.S. international travel.

“We are tremendously optimistic about the long-term prospects for our company, especially if we stay focused on our key three tenets: provide the highest quality support and tools to the travel advisor, impeccable service to traveler and unsurpassed value to preferred supplier partners,” said O’Hara.

Other Travel Leaders Group executives were on hand to discuss travel industry trends. John Lovell, President, Leisure Travel, Supplier Relations & Networks, discussed leisure trends, while Peter Vlitas, Senior Vice President, Airline Relations, and Mike Heflin, Senior Vice President, Hotel Division, provided updates on airlines and hotels, respectively.

Stephen McGillivray, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer for Travel Leaders Group, also welcomed Chris Allison, Head of Commercial Partnerships for Tourism Australia, to discuss current conditions in the wake of the Australian wildfires. Jackie Friedman, President of Nexion Travel Group, Michele Capaccio, Chief Operating Officer of Protravel International, Awilda Gonzalez, Senior Vice President of Tzell Travel Group, and Lisa Wheeler, Senior Vice President of ALTOUR, presented a donation on behalf of the Family Bonds Foundation, the Tzell and Protravel Foundation and the ALTOUR Foundation to support Australian relief efforts.

Becky Powell, President of Protravel International, Cindy Schlansky, Co-President of Tzell Travel Group and Lisa Wheeler closed out the event reporting on luxury travel trends.

Travel Leaders Group is home to more than 20 travel industry brands with collective annual sales of more than $20 billion. For additional information on Travel Leaders Group, visit travelleadersgroup.com.

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About Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group (www.TravelLeadersGroup.com) is transforming travel with a commitment to our vacation and business travel clients through our progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Having already assisted millions of travelers, Travel Leaders Group manages leisure, business and franchise travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands. With over 6,000 agency locations, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest travel agency companies. Travelers also have access to The Travel Collection by Travel Leaders Group, a portfolio of select travel offers including discounts on international and domestic flights, value-added benefits at lodging establishments, shipboard credits on cruises and savings on escorted and vacation packages. Membership to The Travel Collection is offered at no additional cost to U.S. American Express Gold Card, Business Gold Rewards Card, Platinum Card® and Business Platinum Card® Members. For more information visit www.TheTravelCollection.com.