Travel Agents See FITs Driving New Business in 2019

by Marilee Crocker

NASSAU – Custom FIT vacation will be the No. 1 driver of new leisure land business for travel agencies in 2019, followed by active vacations and adventure vacations, according to a new survey of Ensemble advisors in the U.S. and Canada. Travelers’ hunger for intimate, personal experiences will also drive ocean cruise sales next year, Ensemble’s advisors predicted. They cited  growing interest in all-inclusive cruises, followed by small ship and family cruises.

Interest in food, wine and spirits is expected to assume a bigger role in vacations, according to nearly half of survey respondents. Wine and spirits vacations, culinary-themed cruises and hands-on cooking vacations are especially popular, advisors said.

Overall, Ensemble agents anticipate strong sales in 2019, with 78 percent projecting growth over this year. More than seven in 10 agents anticipate growth in ocean cruise, river cruise and land bookings. Fifty-seven percent expect Europe sales to increase.

Results of the September survey of nearly 2,000 Ensemble travel advisors were released during the agency group’s annual conference at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar here this week.

Could not load file or assembly 'System.Net.Http.Primitives, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a' or one of its dependencies. The located assembly's manifest definition does not match the assembly reference. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80131040)

The World’s Best Events to Build Trips Around

All travel advisors can benefit from adding events to their trip-planning services, further expanding their ability to help their clients have unforgettable travel experiences - the kind that they’ll tell their grandkids about some day.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Travel Advisors Should Be Alert to Uninsured Motorists

Agents must be sure to fully explore with their clients the insurance implications of any plan to rent a car on a trip that they are selling.

Thirty Years as a Travel Agent: Tips and Tales from Seasoned Travel Advisors

Some say it’s all about sales, and some say it’s all about service. We asked travel advisors who have been in business for 30 years to share tales and tips.

Travel Advisor or Meteorologist? Agents Often Have to Be Both

Predicting vacation bliss isn’t enough. When storms appear, travel advisors are also expected to forecast the weather.

When Talking with Luxury Clients, Advisors Should Make Emotions Count

Travel advisors can differentiate themselves by prompting clients to talk about the emotional impact they want out of their travels and using the answers to design memorable experiences.

Back to School: Travel Agent Digital Marketing Benefits from Sound Testing Skills

Odds are, you won’t get it right the first time. That’s why ‘test, learn and refine’ should be the mantra for every travel advisor’s digital marketing.

California Travel Agents Protected As ICs After Getting Exemption In Latest Version of AB5

Independent advisors, host agencies and networks are hopeful as agents have been added to the list of exempted professions to be regulated by California’s proposed AB5 law in a major victory for the trade. 

News Briefs
Tip of the Day

"They underestimate the power of the distribution, the power of travel agent, the power of packaging … and I think that’s why we’ve been more successful than they have. In our space, the distribution has become our advantage."

Alex Zozaya, ALG

Daily Top List

Best Places to Visit in Kentucky

1. Louisville

2. Lexington

3. Bowling Green

4. Frankfort

5. Owensboro

Source: VacationIdea

TMR Outlooks
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: USTOA's Recalculating with Harrison Greenbaum – Episode 2 (Dining in Mexico City)