If everything goes according to plan, what you are looking at right now is something entirely different from anything the travel industry has ever seen. In the past, travel agents have been highlighted in articles or featured in magazines but never before have they been the driving force behind the editorial of a trade periodical. As a result, the voice of the agent has been too often blunted, filtered by conflicting concerns and forums that agents could read but seldom influence.
Every article in TRO’s editorial pages is either written or edited by travel agents. The voices you will hear are authentically agent voices. You will agree with some, not with others. But our aim is to ensure that you recognize them as your peers and fellow professionals with whom you have much in common…or not. In either event, we will give you the opportunity to comment on the articles and provide your own points and counter arguments.
Our Editor in Chief is John Frenaye. John’s crusade for the integrity of the role of the traditional travel agent against card mills and MLM models in travel will be well known to many of you. John’s voice is consistent and clearly that of a traditional travel agent. We are asking him to take on new issues on our pages, but you might still find him occasionally seeking to impede the spread of trends that he finds unhealthy for both the industry and consumers.
Our Point-to-Point column will engage a few select writers in the industry to provide us with a high level view of the landscape. Where have we been, where are we now and where are we headed? Our inaugural article by Martin Deutsch features a fifty year perspective on the industry. Future articles will provide insights and provocative stances that we hope will inspire you to reconsider your own positions and comfortable assumptions.
To take you to the trenches of the work-a-day travel agent, we offer up Agent Perspectives. Here we will ask agents of every stripe to talk about whatever is on their mind. We invite you to participate, to comment, to even submit your own articles and ideas for consideration.
Our Supplier Profiles will introduce both new and familiar suppliers for your consideration. Regardless of how you envision the role of agents vis-à-vis the supplier, you live and work those relationships each day of your professional life. We will be asking the suppliers we interview to explain the role of agents in their business mix and to explain how their products and services will impact your professional life.
We hope you are already familiar with TRO’s 365 Guide, a day by day practicum in sales and marketing. Some articles are theoretical, others practical, but we hope all will be useful. At year’s end, we will begin providing a daily encore for each article, a way to put incorporate each day’s guide into your travel planning practice.
Finally, Outposts will feature destination and current events articles that will hopeful provide you with news you can use immediately to better understand the world of travel product that you recommend to your clients.
So there you have it. TRO’s first and, we hope, bold entrée into industry commentary. TRO’s mission remains to enhance the professionalism of traditional travel agents, to provide free tools and marketing resources that can be used by you every day. Please let us know how we are doing by registering and commenting on the articles, on TRO’s tool set, and on the industry at large. It’s your industry and your voice.