Our success or failure is certainly tied to what’s happening in the tourism industry.

Knowing our industry helps us write on-target and noteworthy editorial. Meanwhile, our dedicated sales and marketing team are also industry-wise with decades of experience. Spoiler alert: Together, our team did exceed its 2022 goal and had a banner year.

However, what about 2023? At the risk of oversimplification, I’m bullish about travel in the upcoming year. Sure, the industry lost many seasoned veterans on the operator, DMO and supplier sides of the equation. We’ve heard from operators that employee shortages are making it difficult to plan and execute tours. Fuel prices are up and lodging and restaurant prices are up. But YES, I’m still upbeat about 2023.

I’ve been in the packaged group travel industry for more than three decades. I’ve seen natural disasters that caused destruction on the communities affected. I had a salesperson in Eastern Tennessee on 9/11 and was worried how I’d get her home. I’ve seen recessions and wars and just about everything else that could go wrong. Through all of this, I’ve seen the tour and travel industry always rebound.

As an industry, we are nothing if not resilient and that will again be happening in 2023. We’ve weathered the worst part of the storm and after 2022 we all have our sea legs under us. The sharp tour and charter operators got through the recent murky waters, learned from the challenges and are set to move forward in a big way. Likewise, the DMOs and their partners that kept their brand in front of the market are ready to perform above even their own expectations.

Here’s the bottom line: Beginning in March 2020, tourism was one of the most impacted industries. Within tourism, one of the most vertical segments is packaged group travel. We could have easily folded our tent and drifted off. My belief is good businesspeople do not just go away. They tighten their belt and keep moving forward. That’s how the packaged group travel industry operates.

I continue to have respect for this industry’s resilience for the 30+ years it’s been my pleasure to be a part.

Today, resilience is what’s on my mind. Please take time to read what our industry experts have to say about 2023 in this month’s Leisure Group Travel. They are far wiser than I.

Dave Bodle

Associate Publisher