SIC 4725

This classification comprises establishments primarily engaged in arranging and assembling tours for sale through travel agents. Tour operators primarily engaged in selling their own tours directly to travelers are also included in this industry.

NAICS Code(s)

561520 (Tour Operators)

Industry Snapshot

Within the entire U.S. travel and tourism industry, the packaged tours industry constitutes the second largest revenue-producing sector of the travel services group, bringing in about half the revenues of air carriers alone. As of 2001, the entire travel and tourism industry was the nation's leading services export and the third-largest retail industry, following automotive dealers and food stores. To provide some perspective on the enormity of the economic impact of travel and tourism on the U.S. economy, in 2001 alone the U.S. travel industry received more than $555 billion from domestic and international travelers. The industry has provided some 7.9 million jobs in the United States with a payroll totaling $174 billion.

From this enormous market, tour operators earn their revenue by providing a host of travel services to a travel agent, who then sells these services to tourists. The types of tours provided vary widely according to the type of tour operating business concerned, ranging from arranging transportation, lodging, meals, and a guide for a week-long, gorilla tracking expedition in Africa, to the simple service of providing newly arrived guests to Hawaii with ceremonial leis. Tour operators frequently offer the following advantages: cheaper price, grouped travel with others with similar interests or same socio-economic level, predetermined costs, and pre-planned activities.

Historically, tourists who have chosen to arrange their vacations through a tour operator rather than through a travel agency do so for several different reasons, which, over the course of the modern travel industry's existence, have fluctuated in their relative importance to the tour operator industry. Initially, tourists were attracted by the cheaper total price of their vacations when purchased from a tour operator; they also preferred to travel with a group, have the trip's budget determined beforehand, and not having to worry about what to do, where to go, and how to get there. These benefits, economy, and ease of travel that motivate a consumer to consider a tour package essentially predicate the industry's existence. Throughout the tour operator industry's development, these advantages attracted a certain portion of those contemplating travel, although the number of tourists motivated by economy and ease of travel has varied during different phases of the industry's history.

As time progressed and more people found the time and the extra finances to travel, the tour operator industry also began to attract a new type of customer not necessarily interested in traveling with a group or particularly interested in saving money. These tourists had traveled to numerous destinations numerous times, becoming somewhat inured to the attraction of a particular destination. Instead of traveling, for example, to France for the seventh time, a tourist might consult with a tour organizer to arrange a trip to France specifically tailored to the tourist's interests. These types of tourists represented a growing part of the industry's customer base and led to the creation of fantastic, sometimes eccentric, tours.

Organization and Structure

On a broad level there are two types of businesses that generate revenue from arranging transportation and entertainment for tourists: wholesale travel businesses and retail travel businesses. Tour operators generally function as wholesalers, although like travel agencies, they may operate as retailers or both. Wholesalers in the travel industry secure large blocks of hotel rooms, or sections of seats on an airplane, or large volumes of any other travel-related commodity by paying a deposit for such reservations. By reserving, for example, 200 rooms in a particular hotel, the wholesaler receives a discounted price from the hotel operator, primarily because the wholesaler has assumed the risk of having the 200 hotel rooms remain vacant, a risk the hotel operator would otherwise assume. To generate revenue and mitigate its newly assumed risk, the wholesale concern then attempts to occupy these 200 hotel rooms with tourists by selling the rooms through a retail concern. The distinction between the wholesaler selling through the retailer rather than to the retailer is an important one, because the retailer, usually a travel agency, does not pay for the block of rooms (thereby assuming the inherent risk), but only attempts to occupy the rooms for the wholesaler, for which the retailer receives a commission from the wholesaler.

Frequently, as a result of the vertical integration by the travel industry, a travel wholesaler also may own a travel retail business and, if so, functions as a wholesaler and a retailer, reserving large blocks of transportation or lodging space, then selling these reservations directly to tourists through its retail travel agency. Some tour operators operate as such, selling tour packages directly to tourists, whereas others sell tour packages through retail travel agencies, in both cases assuming the risk that the tours offered may not attract any customers. Multi-mode tours are increasingly included in travel packages, for example cruise-tours using planes, boats, and buses.

The many types of tours offered by tour operators generally fall under four different tour categories, although a particular tour may incorporate characteristics from more than one category. Tours may be designed and organized to suit the desires of a specific group of tourists, such as a tour of Rome organized exclusively for lawyers, or a tour of the museums in Rome for art lovers. Tours of this type are known as special-interest tours, which may or may not be led by a tour guide. In early 2000, the Yahoo Web site listed 36 specialized tour categories with a combined total of 946 listings under all categories. Adventure tours lead the group with 601 sublistings, followed by bus tours (42), EcoTours (36), educational and sports tours (33 each), and spiritual/self-discovery tours, which had 27 listings. Other tour operator categories of interest included spring break, whale watching, fishing, gambling, and bird watching.

Tours that are led by a tour guide and are comprised of a group of tourists not necessarily familiar with each other are classified as Escorted Tours. During these tours, a tour director travels with the group and assumes responsibility for confirming hotel reservations, scheduling transportation, overseeing the handling of baggage, leading the group on sight-seeing excursions, and providing language translation when necessary. Generally, during escorted tours, travelers follow a scheduled itinerary created by the tour operator, and travel as a group to appointed destinations at predetermined times.

Foreign independent tours (FIT) or domestic independent tours (DIT) allow travelers more freedom to vacation on their own without following a scheduled itinerary or traveling with a group, yet these tours still offer the traveler the convenience of paying for all facets of a trip prior to departure, including transportation, transfers, lodging, sight-seeing excursions, and often some meals. This type of tour is divided into two varieties: those tourists traveling on an independent tour out-side their home country are on a FIT, and those traveling inside their home country are on a DIT. Thirty-six percent of the National Tour Operators Association offered packaged FITs in 1996.

Group inclusive tours (GIT) are the fourth category of tours offered by tour operators and comprise groups of travelers that share a particular mutual affiliation, such as belonging to the same club or business organization. This type of tour differs from an escorted tour in that the travelers in a GIT share a commonality among them, while the members of an escorted tour share no common bond, other than perhaps living in the same region. GITs are also distinct from special-interest tours, not because of the composition of the tour members, but because of differences in the tours themselves. Tourists on special-interest tours travel to a particular destination for an experience that somehow is reflective of their mutual interests, and travelers in GITs form a group merely to pool their purchasing power and realize savings.

Some tour operators offer travel services only after the tourist or group of tourists arrive at their destination. These tour operators, known as ground operators, often specialize on a particular destination and consequently are located in proximity to the particular destination. As a result, many tour operators are located in regions of the United States that are typically thought of as popular tourist destination points, such as California, Florida, and Hawaii.

Although the tour operator industry is densely populated, the capital required to enter the business is relatively high, making entry into the industry more difficult than the number suggests. Because tour operators generate revenue by paying large deposits for travel commodities that, with hope, will be paid for by future customers, the fledgling tour operator must have enough capital to secure the necessary reservations without first having the opportunity to generate any revenue. Moreover, the tour operator is required to pay in full for reserved travel commodities, whether the tour attracted any tourists, putting the large deposits at risk. Consequently, the number of tour operators is constantly in flux because some companies fail, particularly smaller ones with limited cash reserves, and new companies are established.

Professional Associations. There are two principal associations concerned with tour operators, and they had a combined membership of more than 4,000 in 1999. The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) was one of the largest, with a 1999 budget of $930,000 and a membership of 524. Members must be in business at least three years, carry a minimum of $1 million liability insurance, and are required to have 18 industry and financial references. The million-dollar security is in the form of a bond and is used solely to reimburse consumers for tour payments or deposits lost in the event of bankruptcy, insolvency, or cessation of operations involving an active USTOA member. The National Tour Association contains 3,800 members and has a staff of 20. Its monthly magazine has a circulation of 5,200.

Background and Development

The concept of traveling for pleasure is a relatively recent phenomenon that emerged in the latter half of the twentieth century, when society as a whole became more affluent, achievements in aviation made inexpensive air travel available to the masses, and the basic desire to spend vacations away from home combined to make travel, and particularly long-distance travel, a popular and widespread activity. Whether this transformation of the human mindset was merely the product of a people suddenly and inexplicably desirous for travel, or the result of effective marketing by both national governments and commercial interests is not clear, but whatever the root of the new desire to travel, it did not surface until the dawn of the jet age.

For Americans, travel by plane first became available in the 1930s, when airline service was first established, but many could not afford to fly, and perhaps even more felt no desire to fly, preferring instead to remain close to home. It was not until after World War II that Americans began traveling by plane to any appreciable extent, an activity facilitated by a dramatic increase in their discretionary income and the affordability of travel. But even then, not many traveled, at least not by plane, for it would be another 20 years until more than one in two Americans had ever flown in an airplane. Nevertheless, once Americans began to travel in the 1950s, tour packages designed and arranged by tour organizers appeared immediately, signaling the genesis of the modern tour operator industry at roughly the same time the over-all travel industry began to mature into a formidable economic force.

Of course, the tour operator industry did not wholly depend upon air travel to generate revenue. Bus loads of high school and college students traveling together during spring vacations during the 1920s most likely constituted the formal beginnings of the industry. But the business created from those traveling to foreign countries or across the United States by airplane had a significant effect on the development of the industry. During the 1950s, the tour operator industry benefited from several key attributes peculiar to the experience tour organizers offered. First and perhaps most important, tour packages were generally more affordable than traveling independently. Packages usually offered inclusive fares, leaving the tourist with little to pay for after departure and virtually no travel details to arrange either before departure or once traveling. Group travel also companionship in unfamiliar places and unfamiliar cultures. Many tourists traveling during the 1950s were experiencing their first journey of any distance from home. Travel for some represented a somewhat frightening—albeit exciting—endeavor. The tour operator industry was well equipped to assuage this sentiment with comparatively cheap prices, the convenience of pre-arranged travel plans, and the security and camaraderie provided by group travel. Poised as such, the tour operator industry secured a viable foothold in the then burgeoning travel industry, establishing for itself a particular type of clientele that consistently fueled its growth.

By the beginning of the 1960s, tourism was big business, amounting to roughly $30 billion a year in the United States. Nearly 124 million Americans traveled each year during the first years of the decade. An appreciable portion traveled internationally, spending more than $2 billion annually in foreign countries. During the 1950s, international travel had become enough of an economic force to attract the attention of government officials. In fact, the Eisenhower administration's attempts to incorporate travel as a focus of foreign economic policy led to the formation of the U.S. Office of International Travel in 1958. Although no branches were established overseas, the Office of International Travel acted as promoter and served as a liaison between the travel industry and government agencies affecting the industry's operation abroad.

Despite federal promotion, several years after the creation of the Office of International Travel the number of U.S. tourists traveling overseas still outnumbered the number of foreign tourists traveling in the United States. By the beginning of the 1960s, this disparity had widened, creating an industry trade deficit of nearly $1 billion annually. In 1961 John F. Kennedy's administration created the United States Travel Service (USTS) as part of the International Travel Act. With more power than the Office of International Travel and with branches overseas, the USTS, operating within the Commerce Department, promoted travel to the United States and facilitated that travel wherever possible.

The promulgation of the International Travel Act and the consequent creation of the USTS provided a tremendous boost to the tour operator industry, primarily because the USTS focused on persuading large groups of tourists to visit America. Large groups of people translated into tours for tour organizers, who now found themselves infused with business created by the government. With an initial $2.5 million annual budget earmarked for travel promotion, the USTS, through its Visit U.S.A. program, enabled tour operators to reach a much wider audience than their individual marketing budgets would have allowed. In one of the first successes of the Visit U.S.A. program, 400 Swiss tourists came to the United States, paving the way for additional groups numbering as high as 700 to come from Britain, France, and Germany.

While foreign travel to the United States began to pick up in the 1960s, another tour type began to grow in popularity. At this time exotic tours such as safaris gave hunters an opportunity to shoot wild game in such distant venues as Mongolia, Serbia, and Africa. Despite being considerably expensive—priced between $3,000 and $9,000 in the mid-1960s excluding airfare—safari tours attracted up to 200,000 tourists each year by the end of the decade.

A larger niche within the tour operator industry was experiencing an increase in popularity, further bolstering the industry's record growth during the 1960s. This niche would later be known as the special-interest tour, which included a group of people with mutual interests traveling together to a particular destination. Some of these tours offered virtually no savings to the group traveler when compared to traveling alone. This development, along with the growing number of people paying for expensive safari tours, signified a subtle but crucial change in the reasons tourists selected tour organizers to arrange their vacations. Previously, lower vacation costs were the primary advantage tour operators offered tourists, and in the 1960s that continued to support the industry's existence. Now, however, tourists also were opting for tour operators solely due to their talents at organizing vacations. This evolution occurred slowly, but would prove to be one of the industry's primary selling points.

As the tour operator industry broadened its scope, the U.S. tourism deficit also continued to broaden. Despite the efforts of Kennedy's Visit U.S.A. promotional program, the tourism deficit had increased from $1 billion at the beginning of the 1960s to $1.6 billion by 1965, prompting the country's next administration to design a new international tourist program to somehow keep the gap from increasing.

Shortly after assuming office, the Lyndon Johnson administration created the See the U.S.A. program, similar to Kennedy's program in name, but decidedly different in its objective. Instead of solely promoting travel to the United States from overseas, See the U.S.A. also attempted to curb the number of U.S. citizens traveling abroad. For several years the idea of levying a "travel-tax" of $50 to $100 was contemplated. Although the threat of an international travel-tax initially produced the opposite of its intended effect—spurring travel abroad before the tax was implemented—other components of See the U.S.A. essentially promoted U.S. destinations for U.S. citizens, which had a positive affect on tour organizers' business. Cities with warm climates and popular tourist attractions in such states as California, Florida, and Hawaii, benefited enormously from the promotional efforts of See the U.S.A., which induced travelers to vacation within U.S. borders.

The next significant federal involvement in the travel industry came in 1978, when the Airline Deregulation Act ended the regulation of domestic air transportation. Regulation had in effect made the industry a consortium of closely allied companies forming what resembled a cartel. Once deregulated, the airline industry assumed its own course of development, unfettered by the strict controls of the Civil Aeronautics Board, which had regulated the industry for the previous 40 years. The airline industry drastically reduced the prices of airfare and quickly became a more populated industry, with 198 new airlines forming in the decade following deregulation. The travel agency industry responded in much the same manner, with the number of agencies soaring from fewer than 10,000 before deregulation to 28,000 by the mid-1980s. For members of the tour operator industry, airline deregulation engendered an upturn in business.

Now catering to a market invigorated by cheaper airfares, the tour operator industry expanded rapidly, attracting new entrants into the business. Between 1973 and 1993, the number of tour organizers increased from approximately 350 to more than 1,500. This increase in participants led to a rise in the number of fallacious agencies, which hurt the industry for the next 20 years and enticed the government to consider regulation of the industry.

Aside from this undesirable manifestation of the industry's growth, the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 also led to an increase in the industry's sales volume, as travel agents increasingly turned to tour operators to realize larger profits. The precipitous decline in airfare prices proved to be a boon for airline companies, but travel agents dependent on commissions suffered from the drop in ticket prices. To ameliorate their position, travel agencies turned to tour operators and began selling more tours, which offered a much higher commission than cheaper airline tickets.

Buoyed by these beneficial developments as it entered the 1980s, the tour operator industry faced an additional regulatory change. In 1982 the Civil Aeronautics Board, still in the process of dismantling itself after the 1978 Airline Deregulation Act, decided as one of its final acts to deregulate the sale of airline tickets in 1985. This decision put to rest a system that had allowed only airlines and travel agents accredited by an airline industry group to issue tickets. This practice had forced many tour operators to sell tours through retail travel agencies. With greater freedom to enter the retail market, tour operators continued to attract additional business and competition for the second consecutive decade.

As tourists seek more adventuresome and exotic tours in wilderness and other uninhabited areas, concerns about the ecological impact on these environments grew. In 1995 the National Parks Airspace Management Act sought to allow the National Park Service to control airspace above national parks in addition to directing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to develop more stringent federal regulations for air tour operators. The act was aggressively fought by the United States Air Tour Association, as well as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, because it would shift control over air space from the FAA to the Park Service, which both groups felt would be unacceptable.

The air tour operator industry noted that aircraft flying over the Grand Canyon, the central focus of the contested airspace, flew well-defined corridors away from popular areas over only 14 percent of the entire Grand Canyon National Park. It was also noted that complaints had decreased by 92 percent, from 100 to 8 complaints per million visitors. The National Park Service reported that 92 percent of respondents to a survey reported no adverse sound impact from overflights.

The strength of the national air tour industry was also noted. The estimated impact of the air tour industry was $625 million. The 275 air tour operators conducted 285,714 flights in 962 aircraft during 428,571 flying hours and carried two million passengers annually, 1.2 million of which were foreign passengers. A total of 240,000 handicapped passengers flew on air tours. The accident rate was 1.9 per 100,000 hours flown. The environmental impact of air tours on the ground was none according to USATA.

According to U.S. Census Bureau reports, tour operators brought in revenues of $2.9 billion dollars in 1998. Going into the millennium, two key issues dominated the industry: the trend toward mergers and the competition from Internet providers. Forrester Research reported that more than $12 billion in revenues was generated from online bookings in 1999.

In late 1999, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its second round of competition to encourage the development of new tourism itineraries across the nation. The department announced five themes that highlight the diverse culture and heritage of the country, and competing tour operators would develop new, never-yet-sold itineraries. The five theme choices were: From Sea to Shining Sea, I Have a Dream, Food for the Soul, Lady Liberty, and America's Cultural Mosaic. The winning tour operators would become official "American Pathways 2000" partners in conjunction with the department's Office of Tourism. American Pathways 2000 includes the NTA, the American Bus Association, the USTOA, the Receptive Services Association, and the International Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (IACVB).

Current Conditions

The travel industry in particular suffered in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and a weakened U.S. economy. Some of the largest airlines, including United Airlines, went into bankruptcy. Faced with new security restrictions, increased operating costs, and ebbing international tourists, tour operators were still feeling the effects of September 11 long after the event. Tour operators brought in an estimated $2.8 billion in revenue in 2001, down slightly from more than $3 billion in 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Tour operators noted a 60 percent drop in travel bookings after September 11, 2001 similar to the drop following the 1991 Gulf War.

Travel expenditures, including spending by U.S. residents and international travelers in the United States on travel related expenses, totaled $555.2 billion in 2001, down from $591.2 billion in 2000. International arrivals to the United States declined nearly 12 percent in 2001—the worst decline for a single year in the history of tracking international arrivals to the United States. Declines continued in 2002, off 7 percent from the previous year. However, it was predicted that by 2003 international arrivals would reach 1999 levels of 48.9 million, an 8 percent increase over 2002. Analysts predicted an even stronger 2004, when international arrivals were expected to reach 52.6 million, surpassing 2000 levels.

Leisure travel, which experienced steady growth from 2000 to 2002, began to decline near the end of 2002 and early 2003. The heightened security alert in the U.S. and the war in Iraq were factors. Americans planned 171.2 million leisure trips in spring 2003, which was a decline of 1.6 percent from spring 2002. Domestically, leisure travel accounted for 76 percent of all travel.

Tour operators received another blow from a surge in negative publicity regarding the outbreak of illnesses on various cruise lines in 2002. The Holland America Line took one of its ships out of service for an intensive cleaning after a stomach virus spread, sickening hundreds of people on four separate cruises. Additionally, due to the outbreak and spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Asia, several tour operators who specialized in trips to that area were forced to close. Others saw large drops in travel. To offset the decreasing desire to travel to foreign destinations, many tour operators began adding programs to national parks in the U.S. West, including Zion, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton national parks. Family tours also began gaining in popularity. In any event, tour operators diversifying their products seemed to be an important trend, and single-destination operators suffered the most in the current volatile market.

Consolidation among tour operators was an important pre-September 11 trend that continued in 2002 and 2003. Leading tour operator Grand Expeditions consolidated the operations of two of its eight companies in Alabama. American Express, the leading travel services company, laid off 6,000 workers in 2001. Acquisitions in the industry grinded to a halt. Meanwhile, online companies continued to be the major source of competition to tour operators and travel agents. During March 2003, the number of electronic tickets sold jumped to 80 percent from 60 percent the previous March. Travel agents sales dropped 14 percent to $5.9 billion in March 2003 from the same month in 2002. Online travel service leaders such as Travelocity, Expedia, and Orbitz threatened to take over from tour operators, with several industry analysts predicting that most tour operators will eventually join with online companies to boost business. Expedia's acquisition of Classic Custom Vacations in 2002 seemed to hearken the beginning of such a trend. Others disagreed, asserting that while online travel purchases are rising, most are using the Internet for research rather than booking, and more complex travel arrangements are better left to the experts. Indeed, travel agents still sold the majority of leisure travel in 2003.

Industry Leaders

Aside from large travel, passenger transportation, and entertainment concerns that also sell tour packages, most independent tour operators are small and privately held. Leading operators included The Mark Travel Corporation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which offered 200 destinations worldwide and had 1,800 employees worldwide. TMTC brands included Adventure Tours, AeroMexico Vacations, ATA Vacations, Blue Sky Tours, Funjet Vacations, MexSeaSun, MGM MIRAGE Vacations, Mountain Vacations, Showtime Tours, Southwest Airlines Vacations, TMTC International Services, Town and Country Tours, TransGlobal Vacations, Travel Charter, United Vacations, US Airways Vacations, and Vegas and More. Other operators included Certified Tours Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with 800 employees; and Group Voyagers of Littleton, Colorado, with 500 employees.

The industry's Tour Operator Program (TOP), under the umbrella of the American Society of Travel Agents, has developed several safeguards to protect consumers from fraud or misrepresentation. Tour operators must have been in business for the past three years, must participate in one of four approved consumer protection plans, subscribe to a $1 million errors and omissions policy naming travel agents as additional insurers, accept travel agent bookings and pay commissions, comply with federal and state travel regulations, respond to Better Business Bureaus and other complaints within 30 days, and subscribe to a prescribed code of ethics. The four protection plans with a brief description of their coverage are outlined below.

The U.S. Tour Operators Association requires that a $1 million security deposit in the form of a bond, letter of credit, or certificate of deposit be used solely for reimbursing consumers who have lost tour payments or deposits because of the bankruptcy, insolvency, or cessation of operations of one of its active members. The funds are also available to consumers whose company failed to refund monies within 120 days of cancellation of a tour or package.

The National Tour Association's Consumer Protection Plan applies to qualifying deposits or prepayment for packaged travel placed by a travel agent on behalf of the consumer. Losses are limited to $250,000 per bankrupt member, with maximum liabilities limited to the total assets of the fund at the time.

The Travel Funds Protection Plan is an escrow account for individual deposits by agreement with tour operators and the bank. The deposit account is controlled by the First Bank of America, automatically debits airfare, and releases payment to the tour operator for land and lodging related cost five days after the tour is complete. None of the consumer's money is available to the tour operator in the interim.

The Federal Maritime Commission Program requires owners, operators, and charters of vessels with accommodations for 50 or more passengers embarking from U.S. ports (including territories and possessions) to demonstrate fiscal responsibility in the form of a surety bond, financial guaranty, self-insurance, or an escrow account to protect passengers against loss in the event of nonperformance of water transportation.

America and the World

International visitors generated an estimated $91 billion in U.S. travel revenues for 2001. Since the late 1980s, the United States has held a trade surplus in travel expenditures (i.e., international tourists spent more in the United States than U.S. travelers spent abroad). For the first time since 1985, total exports for merchandise goods dropped to $719 billion in 2001. Service exports also sank in 2001, from $292 billion in 2000 to $279 billion in 2001. That marked the first decline ever registered in service exports for the United States for the years from 1960 to 2001. Florida, California, New York, Hawaii, and Nevada, were leading U.S. destinations for foreign travelers. Nationals of Canada, Mexico, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Germany made up more than half of the international visitors to the United States. The top five overseas markets to the United States in 2001 were the United Kingdom (4.1 million arrivals, down 13 percent); Japan (4.1 million, down 19 percent); Germany (1.3 million, down 28 percent); France (876,000, down 19 percent); and Korea (618,000, down 7 percent). The United Kingdom surpassed Japan that year to become the biggest overseas market for the United States.

International travel by residents of the United States has also grown steadily. In 1998, 23.1 million U.S. residents traveled overseas. Top international destinations for U.S. travelers in 1998 were the United Kingdom (16 percent); France (10 percent); Germany (8 percent); Italy (8 percent); and Jamaica (7 percent). Most travelers left the country from (in descending order) New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; Miami; and Chicago.

Further Reading

Agency Group 04. "U.S. Department of Commerce and American Pathway Partners Announce Second Round of the American Pathways 2000 Program." FDCH Regulatory Intelligence Database, 8 October 1999. Available from .

"Agent Sales Fall in March." Travel Agent, 28 April 2003.

American Society of Travel Agents. "Tour Operator Program (TOP) Approved Consumer Protection Plans." Available from .

Del Rosario, Laura. "NTA Strives to Lure Agents to Its Web Site." Travel Weekly, 19 July 1999, 24.

Gettleman, Jeffrey. "Cruise Breaks a String of 4 Outbreaks of Illness." New York Times, 12 December 2002.

"In the Back Yard: Tour Operators Promote Parks As Hot Domestic Destination." TravelAge West, 7 April 2003.

Lisella, Maria. "International Tour Specialists Eye a New Market: The U.S." Travel Agent, 10 December 2001.

Pucci, Carol. "Travel Industry Braces for Iraq War." Knight Ridder Tribune New Service. 10 February 2003.

Schiller, Kristan, and Maria Lisella. "Tour Operators Eye Online Entities' Entry into Packaged Travel Arena." Travel Agent, 26 August 2002.

Travel Industry Association of America. Travel Statistics & Trends. Available from .

——. "War Impedes Spring Leisure and Business Travel Plans." The Press Room, 28 March 2003. Available from .

U.S. Census Bureau. Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services (Except Landscaping Services) (NAICS 56)—Estimated Revenue for Employer and Nonemployer Firms: 1998 Through 2001. Washington, DC: GPO, 2003.

—— Statistical Abstract of the United States 1998. Washington, DC: GPO, 1998.

U.S. International Trade Administration, Office of Travel & Tourism Industries. "Highlights of 2001 Data Release." TI News, 28 March 2003. Available from .

Wilkening, David. "Business Briefs." Travel Weekly, 2 August 1999, 48.

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