The travel agency industry, seeing a steep drop in leisure and corporate travel, is hurting badly in the recession. It?s the latest blow to an industry that has struggled for the past decade to hold onto sales. The erosion has been caused by people booking their own travel online, a resort and cruise industry that often deals directly with travelers, and the lingering effects of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

To make things worse, cruise operators, resorts, hotels and airlines are offering bigger discounts to woo travelers. Agents, who make commissions based on the price of the trip, are earning less and scrambling to book more trips.

?Firms are having to adjust quickly to survive,? said Scott Koepf, president of the National Association for Career Travel Agents.

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