As always, the Travel Industry Survey’s list of issues and events that travel advisers said had the greatest impact on business during the previous year is reflective of current events.
Security had topped the list of issues affecting agency revenue in 2016, cited by 53% of all agents. For 2017, that number dropped significantly, to 41%, a likely reflection of the reduction in terror attacks since then: The number of civilians killed by terrorists fell to 18,475 last year, a 33% decline compared with 2016, according to global information provider IHS Markit.
Taking its place is internet-based competition, cited by 42% of respondents and up from 39% the previous year.
The smallest agencies expressed the most concern about internet competition in this year’s survey.
The 2017 hurricane season clearly loomed large among agents this year, with 30% saying that natural disasters, such as hurricanes, made a significant impact on their 2017 revenue. This was up from only 8% the year before. And with Zika and Ebola having faded from news headlines, concerns about epidemics or pandemics decreased significantly as an issue, declining to 17% from 28% in the previous year’s survey.
The issues that had grown most in terms of impact last year, such as an unfavorable opinion of the U.S. and government policies on travel and immigration, leveled off among respondents this year.