MARK ROGERS, senior editor, traveled to Bali this fall to attend PATA Travel Mart 2007 and is convinced that if the destination wasn't such a long haul, it would be on most U.S. travelers' short list of places to visit. He was impressed by the friendliness of the people and by the combination of an exotic locale and a prevalence of English-speaking locals. 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 with upfront access to newsmakers and trendsetters in the industry.
DAVID EISEN covers the cruise and hotel beats for Travel Agent. He recently attended a luncheon hosted by Dick West (pictured), chairman and managing director of Cruise West, who indulged those on hand with the tale of how the family-run cruise business got its start. Next, Eisen heads to Mexico via San Diego for Holland America's Centurion Cruise, which brings together the line's 100 top-selling travel agents.
JENNIFER MERRITT is Travel Agent's reporter covering Europe, tour operators and technology. She recently met Jean-Philippe Pérol, director of the Americas for Maison de la France (pictured). Over a cup of coffee in Boston, they discussed what U.S. visitors to France are doing these days—how they travel, why they go and where they stay. Look for details of their conversation on these trends in this issue. Merritt also got the exclusive scoop from Kyle Moore, vice president of product marketing for Sabre, on the company's new airline version of UpSell. For the full story, see "Sabre Takes UpSell to the Skies".
Early on, GLENN HAUSSMAN knew he was destined to become an expert on Las Vegas—maybe it was the homemade craps table he used to have in his living room. To intimately understand Sin City, Haussman forces himself to visit every few months. He's stayed in all the best hotels (and some you wouldn't tell your mother about), researching the top properties, hot nightclubs and hard-to-get-into restaurants. His most challenging assignment yet was reporting on the emerging topless pool trend. Haussman is an adjunct professor at New York University, teaching consumer behavior and public relations, and writes about Las Vegas and casino gaming for a variety of publications.
JOE PIKE is Travel Agent's associate editor covering the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Mexico and Central and South America. Pike recently returned from the 30th annual Caribbean Tourism Conference, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he was able to speak one-on-one with the Caribbean Tourism Organization's (CTO) most prominent officials, including Chairman Allen Chastanet. For news on Caribbean products and plans from these interviews, see "Caribbean/Bahamas/Bermuda Features".