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The Group Travel Leader Small Market Meetings Going on Faith

Another Boom Year Ahead

Our company has been a media member of the United States Tour Operator Association (USTOA) for about 15 years. USTOA represents several dozen international tour operators and dozens more travel brands that are heavily involved in outbound travel across the world. Currently, USTOA member companies generate about $16 billion in travel revenue and carry roughly 6 million travelers a year.

Several USTOA member companies have attended the Select Traveler Conference in recent years to sell their products to the upscale travel planners who attend. In December, the Group Travel Leader’s Bryce Wilson attended the 2023 USTOA Annual Conference and Marketplace in Los Angeles to meet with USTOA companies and the domestic and international travel destinations they do business with.

I thought you might like to hear what Bryce heard at USTOA about the return of group and packaged travel across North America and the globe. It’s a remarkable success story we can all celebrate.

In 2023, 94% of USTOA tour companies reported sales growth in the first full year of travel since the pandemic. Three-fourths of those companies grew their sales and passenger counts by 10% or more.

In 2024, 92% are projecting additional growth, and almost two-thirds are forecasting a second straight “boom year” in which they will grow another 7-10% in passenger counts. If those projections pan out and this year’s growth outpaces last year’s, it will prove that travelers like yours are resilient. In fact, I’m sure many of yours are included in these numbers.

In March, at the Select Traveler Conference in Buffalo, New York, we’ll celebrate your successes as well. Grassroots travel planners like you who have developed loyal followings are an integral part of this return to worldwide travel normalcy. Many of these USTOA companies recognize the role you play. So do we.

See you in Buffalo!