?Travelers get the control they want to buy exactly what they value,? according to Henry Harteveldt of Forrester Research, who delivered the keynote address at the Travel Industry Association?s TravelCom Res-Expo conference and trade show in Las Vegas this week.

Harteveldt set the tone for the conference and trade show saying that ?83 percent of travelers are online now,? ahead of the general public, of whom only 71 percent are online. Harteveldt said his research shows that 90 percent of travelers will be online by 2010.

He explained that means we?re in an era when travelers have almost unlimited information. ?There is only one steering wheel,? he said, ?and the driver, the customer, is not letting go.?

During the conference, other keynote addresses were delivered by noted e-Commerce experts Guy Kawasaki, one-time chief marketing officer for Apple Computer; and Jeff Taylor, the visionary behind Monster.com who now heads EONS.com.

?We delivered the latest strategies and tactics being used throughout the travel industry to keep our customers in the drivers? seat when they plan and book travel,? TIA President and CEO Roger Dow said of TravelCom Res-Expo. ?The speakers and the delegates represent the upper echelon of travel industry professionals in today?s travel industry.?

A dynamic online networking system, TravelCommunity, was introduced to keep delegates connected in the ever-changing online travel distribution environment through TravelCom 2008, scheduled for April 8-10 in Chicago.

?TIA is strongly committed to helping travel industry professionals stay on top of e-commerce,? Dow said. ?Our collective vision needs to be one where we leverage every practical technology that puts our customers in control of their travel experiences.?

During this year?s conference, Farecast and ITA Software were named the first-ever winners of TravelCom Res-Expo Innovator Awards. Farecast was given the New Innovator Award for a company less than five years old. ITA Software was given the Established Innovator Award for a company at least five years old.

Winners were selected based on criteria that highlighted their innovative contributions to the travel industry.

Other finalists for the New Innovator Award included: DoHop Virtual Online, Altius Par, Open Travel Software RFP Marketplace, and EZ Yield.

Other finalists for the Established Innovator Award included: TravelClick, Amadeus Flex Pricer, Omniture, and GetThere.