2010: Year of Recovery or Just Better than 2009?

At the end of the first quarter of 2010, we asked agents how business was going thus far and many shared positive news. For the most part, we've read several reports that indicate a welcome recovery for the travel industry in 2010:

*    The European Travel Commission had a successfull second quarter (which is great considering the Iceland volcano incident).
*    Luxury travel is being fueled by demand.
*    The top three hospitality data research firms predict positive year-over-year growth for REvPar.
*    The cruise industry had good news about bookings and recovery at Cruise Shipping Miami.
*    Agencies such as ALTOUR are reporting improvement as well.

But there are those who aren't so confident, warning that recovery may not be coming so soon:

*    PhoCusWright warns that recovery may be restrained.
*    American Express is optimistic, but also cautious.

So we are turning to you, the agents and travel professionals, to share with us some insight on what improvement in 2010 means. If your sales are increasing and/or business is expanding, is it because the travel industry is making significant strides out of the current downturn? Or, perhaps, is this good news a tease in that it is easy to tout how things are getting better in 2010 after such a rough 2009?

We asked this question at our Facebook page, as well as our Twitter page, and have already received some feedback.

At our Facebook page, Kerr Berr wrote:
I think it's a year of hope. Our agency has more inquiries than we've ever had, but honestly not many more bookings. Some are taking advantage of good deals, but some have unrealistic expectations or just want to see what's available. So we're very busy, but it's hard to determine who's serious upfront.

We were also thrilled to hear from Henry Harteveldt, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, who tweeted us, saying:
In travel, 2010 is a year that sucks less than 2009

What's your opinion? We want to hear from you. Please post a comment below. Write us at our Facebook page, or send a tweet to  our Twitter page. Join the conversation in real-time at a specific discussion thread about 2010 at AgentNation.

We'll share your feedback with our readers in special feature stories to come.