Travel Weekly's Travel Industry Survey 2017


Methodology and business profile

This report comprises the results of the 2017 Travel Industry Survey. The survey is conducted annually and examines important trends in the operations of travel agencies.

The Warren Weiss Co. collected the data by distributing an online questionnaire to Travel Weekly and TravelAge West subscribers in July, inviting them to participate in the research project. The survey results were based on responses from 995 travel agents, received between July and August.

This sample size enables analyses of various segments and subgroups, with statistical reliability typically ranging from a 5% to 7% margin of error. However, for the most part, trends apparent in the data are so consistent over time that even small changes can be considered reliable.

In past years, a distinction was made between traditional brick-and-mortar retail agencies and home-based agencies, determined by whether the agent worked in a retail office or at home.

That distinction has become increasingly blurred due to the implementation of technologies that make it practical for employees to work from home. Many employed by what would be considered a traditional retail agency actually work mostly from their own home, so it is necessary to clarify whether those working at home are independent home-based agents or home-based employees.

In this year's survey, 37% identified themselves as independent home-based agents, whereas 18% of agents in the sample said they were employees that work primarily from home. For the sake of brevity, "home-based agents" labels in this report refer to the independent home-based agents.

The terms "retail" and "traditional" are used interchangeably in this report when referring to agencies based in brick-and mortar offices as opposed to independent home-based offices.

The travel agents who participated in the survey hail from all major regions of the U.S.: 31% are from the South; 27% are from the West; 20% are from the Northeast; and 20% are from the Midwest (2% are from Canada/ non-U.S.).

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