Trends

USTOA Members See Uptick in 2010 Vacation Bookings

Surpass Expectations for Domestic and International Travel

Travel Industry Wire

  • more than 90% say business is up since beginning of year
  • 96% say international travel is up
  • 66% see domestic travel bookings up
  • nearly 80% say staycations are waning
  • nearly 60% say dollar's value affecting international travel
The U.S. Tour Operators Association reports that 2010 business is up significantly compared to 2009, surpassing expectations. In a recent informal membership poll, 92% of respondents said business is up since the beginning of the year, contrasting with 70% who last fall predicted a turnaround.

International travel leads

Sales of international tours, vacation packages and custom arrangements led the way, with 96% of respondents seeing an average increase of 30% over last year. This surpasses last fall's expectations, when three-quarters of members predicted international sales to grow in 2010 by slightly under 20%.

Two-thirds of USTOA respondents report that domestic vacation bookings are up by an average of 33% this year. This improvement tops USTOA member projections: last fall, when 56% of respondents expected an increase of just 10%, while 37% predicted that domestic travel figures would remain unchanged.

Staycations Losing Popularity

With the economy improving, USTOA members are finding "Staycations" -- shorter, close-to-home vacations -- less popular for 2010. Some 79% of respondents said they see no increase in staycations compared to last year. However, 20% report an increase, slightly down from the 25% who last fall predicted that closer to home travel would increase. 

Discretionary income is key international factor

Some 84% of survey respondents see discretionary income as the major factor contributing to the uptick in international travel in 2010. Nearly 60% (58%) said that the dollar's value is having a positive effect on international travel bookings for 2010 - 11, in line with earlier predictions. 

Prices remain constant

Prices for tours, vacation packages, and custom arrangements have held constant since the beginning of the year for 68% of respondents, while 20% have lowered prices and 12% have increased them. Going into 2010, three-quarters of respondents said they were decreasing prices slightly, with one-quarter citing increases of 6% for 2010.

For more information, visit www.USTOA.com



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