MARK ROGERS, senior editor, was the moderator for this issue's Hawaii Roundtable on pages 58-62. "The energy in the room was amazing," says Rogers. "The panelists showed a lot of passion for their destination." Back in the office, Rogers was faced with an embarrassment of riches. "After the tape was transcribed, we had enough material for seven stories." Rogers 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, which provide him upfront access to newsmakers and trendsetters in the industry. Last month Rogers attended the PATA Travel Mart 2007 in Bali.
DAVID EISEN covers the cruise and hotel industries for Travel Agent. Eisen just returned from cruising on Norwegian Cruise Line's newest ship, Norwegian Gem, where he had the chance to meet and speak with Andy Stuart (on left, pictured with Eisen in the photo on the right), NCL's executive vice president of sales and marketing. In this issue, Eisen gives you all you'll need to know about the Gem. He also revisits river cruising from the travel agent perspective. "River cruising is quickly becoming more than just a fad, especially in Europe, as it gives travelers a new, and different, appreciation of some of world's most storied cities," says Eisen.
JOE PIKE (left), is Travel Agent's associate editor covering the Caribbean; the Bahamas and Bermuda; Mexico; and Central and South America. Pike recently returned from the Regent Palms Turks & Caicos, which he described as one of the top properties he's visited in the Caribbean. "The resort is the perfect property for couples looking for an unspoiled destination in the Caribbean and a resort that offers peace and quiet on just about every inch of its 12 acres," he says.
JENNIFER MERRITT is Travel Agent's reporter covering Europe, Tour Operators and Technology. Earlier this month, Merritt was off to Santa Barbara, CA for the Alaska Media Road Show, as well as Tucson, AZ for American Express' U.S. representative network conference, where she had the opportunity to interface with many suppliers and agents. One of Merritt's dream trips is to travel Europe via rail, and in this issue, she explores the benefits of train versus air travel, both abroad and in the U.S.
IRVINA LEW is an author and freelance travel writer, and a member of both the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Society of American Travel Writers. She is an admitted "francophile" who studied at the University of Paris and the Sorbonne, and she is an ardent spa afficionado. This image was taken on a tour boat in the picturesque village of Beyzac in Aquitaine, France, which she writes about in this issue.