In talking about December’s Industry Forecast issue of Leisure Group Travel magazine and preparing for the New Year, Publisher Jeff Gayduk says he subscribes to the theory “if you’re going to start doing something new, you have to stop doing something old.”

It’s that time of year again. The tree goes up, the lights go on, business gets slow(er) and we set our sights on the New Year.

That’s what Leisure Group Travel’s Industry Forecast issue is about. As we do this time each year, we reflect on the current year while prepping for the coming one.

For this edition we’ve assembled a collection of industry experts to help guide your future success—with articles like Marty de Souto’s river cruising trends and Dave Bodle’s trade show tips, plus guest columns by marketing maven Mike Marchev, social media guru Marti Grimminck and skilled internet entrepreneur Tim Warren. Each of these professionals has applied their own success to provide practical tips and tools for group travel professionals. It’s our hope that their pointed advice will help you shape your business in a positive fashion in the coming year.

What’s Your Opportunity Cost?

I’m a subscriber to the theory “if you’re going to start doing something new, you have to stop doing something old.” The concept behind this is you can’t keep piling on your to-do list without sacrificing something you are currently doing. So as you explore new marketing tactics, new sellable products or new technologies that will help you get there, think about what you can give up that isn’t working.

We regularly apply this lesson to our own business. Case in point: early this year we chucked our directory system after nearly eight years for a new map-driven, mobile-friendly website and completely overhauled print guide. Hundreds of man hours went into the transformation of this platform, and many days it was frustratingly painful. But the end result is a reinvigorated, reimagined Group Travel Directory. The beautiful new print version accompanies this edition of Leisure Group Travel, the online version ( is artistically elegant and amazingly functional.

Over a decade ago we started the industry’s Reader’s Choice Awards where you selected your favorite suppliers in over a dozen categories. This year we pivoted this program to become part of the American Group Travel Awards. In a gala event in New York City this past month (see story on page 10), 300 industry professionals gathered to celebrate the best of the best. With over 6,000 votes, this is the true voice of group travel planners.

I hope you find this Industry Forecast edition of Leisure Group Travel both informative and invigorating as you gear up for a successful 2015. We value your readership and I ask that you take a moment to renew your subscription to America’s Leading Group Travel Magazine…ensure they keep coming!