The New Age Of Travel

With mergers, alliances and reaction to the impact of the Web, the travel industry is in turmoil as it reaches for global scale

These days, thinking big is the travel and tourism industry's mantra. Airlines are coalescing into huge agglomerates that coordinate flights, share revenues and set fares jointly. Hotel groups are on a cross-border takeover binge; ditto tour operators. Travel agents, pressured on every side, are restructuring their businesses and forming large entities with muscle power of their own. Cruise lines, car-rental firms and rail and ferry companies are racing to consolidate into giant groupings with global ownership, reach and resources. "In a competitive environment, you've got to link up with partners if you don't want to be marginalized," says Dominique Patry, head...

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