Columnist Richard Earls says the past decade has been a difficult one for the travel industry, but it has also helped travel agents become better educated, more efficient and more technologically savvy. "When the going got tough, the travel community kept going," Earls writes. Looking into the next decade, he says there is reason for optimism. "Now, resolve to fight smart as well as hard. Continue to pour time into marketing plans and business plans. Continue to request training from your suppliers. Find your areas of specialty and go deep."

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