Despite its travel agent critics, YTB International, Inc., had a year of strong growth and expansion in 2007 with more to come in 2008. The Wood River, Illinois-based firm increased total revenue for the first nine months to $95.9 million compared to the $31.2 million for the same period in 2006.
YTB's position as an Internet-based travel booking service for travel agencies and home-based independents, was also enhanced by increases in its network of Referral Travel Agents to 135,000. YTB will also expand into Canada in 2008, offer tour packages to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and roll out an expanded web-based training program. YTB also says it added 93 new YTB sales directors during the year.
YTB International is a publicly traded company and has been the source of substantial controversy. Many agents believe that YTB is less a travel agency than a multi-level marketing firm-a judgment denied by YTB's management. (GD)