I recently read the latest ASTA Agency Profile report and was stunned to learn that 45 percent of all agencies didn’t make a profit in 2011. The good news is that this unfortunate number is down 2 percent from 2007.
First I find it hard to believe that so many agencies would operate for so long in the negative. What I am hoping it means is that after the owner takes his or her salary, no money is put away for a rainy day. This is why so many independent agencies are being swallowed up by the larger ones with no money exchanging hands. Most agency owners don’t know the value of their business and how to monetize it as they move into their retirement years. Most are happy to have a desk to call home and work with their remaining clients.
Here at Travel Agent magazine, we recognize the need to educate agency owners on the future of travel. Therefore, within our luxury portfolio we have announced the launch of Ultra Luxury Exchange. (This is in addition to our new appointment-based Luxury Travel Exchange, which will be held at The Palazzo Las Vegas on November 27-29.) After extensive research we have come to this understanding that the biggest challenge for luxury travel advisors is not how to conduct business today but in the future. This is their No. 1 concern, as the crystal ball is unclear and there are a lot of unanswered questions.
Attendance for Ultra Luxury Exchange will be by invitation only. It will be a fully hosted event and the outcome will be that the best minds in luxury travel will come together to develop that road map for the future. This will become the playbook that all agency owners will want to follow to ensure success in the future and stay above the profitability line.
During Ultra Luxury Exchange, we will also showcase CEOs from top luxury travel suppliers as well as luxury manufacturers outside the travel market in order to really dissect the affluent consumers to predict their needs well into the future.
Stay tuned as we continue to lead you down the path of prosperity.