Research Insights U.S. travel agents: Proving to be resilient and thriving

U.S. travel agents: Proving to be resilient and thriving

February 2024
Phocuswright Research

When Phocuswright began tracking the travel agency distribution landscape in 2006, the rise of online travel agencies was forcing travel advisors to prove their value - or risk extinction. As the online travel market has continued to evolve, changing business models and pandemic-era disruption have challenged agencies and advisors. Throughout, travel agencies have proven resilient, and the market is thriving. According to Phocuswright’s travel research report U.S. Travel Agency Landscape 2023, today's travel advisors have evolved to adopt new technologies and specializations to meet the needs of travel agency clients via strong relationships, service and expertise.

Phocuswright Chart: Travel Agency Bookings

As leisure travel demand exploded in 2022 and 2023, travel agencies achieved unprecedented growth. After plunging 74% in 2020, the recovery that started in 2021 accelerated as travel agency gross bookings jumped 120% in 2022 (see figure below). Following a projected 26% growth in 2023, the travel agency market will exceed its 2019 value in 2024. At that time, market growth will normalize to single digits, and gross bookings will reach $141.3 billion in 2026.

Phocuswright Chart: Travel Agency Bookings

U.S. Travel Agency Landscape 2023 is part of a joint research project with Phocuswright and Travel Weekly, tracking the travel agency distribution landscape and overall market size. Based on a comprehensive market sizing exercise, along with a survey of more than 1,300 U.S. travel advisors, key topics include:

  • Size of the U.S. travel agency market, featuring projections through 2026
  • The typical travel advisor profile: key advisor demographics and insights into the clients they serve
  • Agency business overview: revenue sources, top products and distribution channels
  • Future industry outlooks, including key challenges and the impact of NDC

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