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February 4, 2008 By: Travel Agent Central Contributor Travel Agent

MARK ROGERS, senior editor, recently attended the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Tourism Forum in Bangkok, where he met with tourism ministers from 10 ASEAN member countries. During his downtime, Rogers toured the medical tourism facilities at Bangkok's Bamgunrad Hospital and visited backstage at Siam Niramit, a theater complex mounting traditional Thai dance and music performances. Rogers' beats for Travel Agent include Hawaii, the South Pacific and Asia, as well as California, his home. In this issue, he covers all bases, with stories on Lanai, Tokyo and San Francisco.

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, Pike tells agents what makes the Cayman Islands an easy sell. For Latin America specialists, he breaks down Brazil's selling points (pages 48–52). A couple of weeks ago, Pike attended Caribbean Marketplace 2008 in Nassau, the Bahamas, where he mingled with major players in Caribbean tourism; he's pictured, on the left, with Travel Agent's regional sales manager for the Caribbean, Diana Weber, and Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica's minister of tourism. Look for more from Pike's visit to the Bahamas in this issue's News Impact section as well as in an upcoming issue.

DAVID EISEN covers the cruise and hotel beats for Travel Agent. Since his jaunt to England for the Queen Victoria christening, he surprisingly hasn't stepped aboard a cruise ship (needless to say, he feels confused and lost without a porthole to look out). That will change soon enough, though his next trip is to Las Vegas to cover Carlson Companies' 70th anniversary Summit and World Gala, followed by CLIA's cruise3sixty conference and the Seatrade Cruise Shipping Convention, both in south Florida. He'll report back on all the happenings and tidbits in the cruise industry. Eisen is shown here, on the left, with CLIA's president and CEO, Terry Dale.

GEORGE DOOLEY joins Travel Agent after a 20-year stint with Travel Trade. He began his travel career as manager of press relations for the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and was a vice president of Doremus & Company (now OmniComGroup), handling travel and insurance accounts. He has also worked with Airbus, Hawker Siddeley Aviation, the National Air Carriers Association and World Airways. In 2001, ASTA named him Travel Journalist of the Year. We are delighted to have George onboard.

LOIS FRIEDLAND is a freelance journalist based in Colorado who specializes in skiing, golf, luxury travel and adventure travel. She is's adventure travel guide ( In this issue, she writes about Denver's new Ritz-Carlton hotel, which she says she loved because "it's an elegant blend of Rocky Mountain casual and urban chic." Friedland is pictured here in New Mexico's Petroglyph National Monument.

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