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March 17, 2008 By: Travel Agent Central Contributor Travel Agent

JOE PIKE is Travel Agent's associate editor covering the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Mexico and Central and South America. In this issue's cover story, he shares selling tips from his recent trip to Barbados (where he is pictured). When he's not touring his beats, Pike also frequents the hottest travel industry events in New York City, where he recently mingled with Puerto Rico tourism officials as well as Virgin Group owner and famous entrepreneur Richard Branson. The next major Caribbean event on Pike's calendar is the Dominican Annual Tourism Exchange (DATE) in Punta Cana at the end of the month.

MARK ROGERS is a senior editor at Travel Agent. He covers Hawaii, the South Pacific and Asia, as well as California, where he is based. At least twice a month he travels to attend trade conferences around the region, providing him upfroint access to industry newsmakers. In this issue, Rogers takes a look at trends in tourism to India; profiles Lynda Turley, a Virgin Galactic Accredited Space Agent; and showcases Molokai, Hawaii's "Friendly Isle." He is shown here in California at the Salton Sea.

DAVID EISEN covers the cruise and hotel beats for Travel Agent. He just returned from Las Vegas (a few dollars richer!) after attending the Carlson Global Business Conference (he is pictured at the event on the far left with Yvonne LePenotiere, Carlson's chief branding officer), where he rubbed shoulders with an array of Carlson hotel executives. Next, Eisen heads off to South Florida for CLIA's cruise3sixty conference in Ft. Lauderdale, followed by the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention in Miami.

GEORGE DOOLEY, Travel Agent's contributing editor covering retail and technology, has a long-standing reputation as one of the top travel industry journalists. In this issue, Dooley notes that while some say that there are too many awards in this industry, three leaders in particular deserve their recent recognition. See his story on page 104. Dooley also explores IT Group's adaptation of the Open Travel CRM as the preferred technology provider for its 900-plus members.

DEBBIE STRONG is a story editor at Travel Agent and also frequently writes about the booming spa industry. She is an annual attendee at international spa tradeshows and conferences and has traveled all over the U.S. and Mexico, scouting out the newest spas and relaying that information to our readers out of our Manhattan offices. In this issue, Strong reports on the rising trend of girlfriend getaways (see more "Girlfriend Getaways") and shares the highlights of her recent visit to Aruba to view the newly redesigned Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino (where she is pictured). She also just returned from the Casa Dorada Los Cabos Resort & Spa, the newest resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Watch for her report in an upcoming issue.

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