Travel Industry Survey 2021

Travel Industry Survey

About the Travel Industry Survey

The 2021 Travel Industry Survey is Travel Weekly's return to the annual study we have published 32 times prior to 2020, when the pandemic presented challenges to fielding it. As it always has, this year's survey examines trends among travel agencies and travel advisors in the U.S. The information presented in this report was obtained by distributing an online questionnaire to Travel Weekly and TravelAge West subscribers as well as members of various consortia and host agencies, inviting them to participate in the research project. 

The survey results were based on responses received from 874 travel advisors who completed the questionnaire in September. The report only allowed responses from those who currently work as a travel advisors.

For the first time, MMGY Travel Intelligence collected the data and delivered its finding to Travel Weekly. As the sample was not representative of all travel agencies in the U.S., the data has not been balanced by statistical weighting.

Due to the absence of the survey in 2020, some of the charts do not have data about 2019 sales.  

Throughout the report, unless otherwise stated, travel agencies were analyzed and compared and segmented into two main groups: traditional travel agents, defined as travel agency storefronts, travel agency offices and travel advisor employees who work from home, and home-based independent travel advisors, defined as a hosted independent contractors who work from home or fully independent travel advisors who work from home. 

Data is then further segmented into subgroups based on total gross revenue in 2020.

Response by region

The majority of travel agents surveyed this year are based in the southern U.S. (44%), followed by the West (22%), Midwest (18%) and the Northeast (16%). The top states represented among respondents in this year's study are: Florida (12%), California (9%), Texas (9%), New York (5%), New Jersey (4%), Georgia (4%) and Illinois (4%).

Nearly half (46%) of the traditional travel agencies surveyed have been in business for more than 31 years, while new agencies — in business for less than three years — account for 5% of the sample. The mean number of years traditional agencies have been in business is 28.

Home-based independent agencies do not have as long a history as traditional agencies. Those in business for two years or less account for 28% of respondents in the category, while the mean number of years in business for home-based independent agencies is 14.

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Editors Johanna Jainchill and Arnie Weissmann dive into some of the Travel Industry Survey data and discuss how it dovetails with travel trends and booking patterns.

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