Moreover, interviews with individual agents, suppliers and agency marketing groups revealed that traditional travel agents can easily leverage their personal relationships with clients and their deep knowledge of preferred suppliers to beat the Godzilla discounters on value and even on price. To be sure, the warehouse discounters sell a significant amount of travel — volume, after all, is key to their business model. A Costco executive, for example, said recently that the warehouse discounter would definitely be on Travel Weekly’s Power List should it choose to be included (it chooses not to). Clearly they are huge players. One tour operator lumps them in with online travel agencies (OTAs), arguing that Costco Travel is, for all intents and purposes, an online agency and online tour operator. Get the full story at Travel Weekly