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Results! Travel Suggests Solid Agent Recovery From RecessionAugust 20, 2013 By: George Dooley Travel Agent
A majority of Results! Travel members surveyed are reporting current bookings are the same or higher than they were prior to the great recession, according to Results! Travel Vice President and General Manager John Risner. He notes that gains are reported in every category – all-inclusives, resorts, tour and cruise, hotel, air and car.
“For those of our members who book leisure travel, they are specializing in travel planning that includes all-inclusive resorts, cruising, honeymoons and destination weddings, luxury and adventure travel, " Risner reports.
"That fits nicely with the average overall increase our data reflects in business mix that is closer to 50-50 between international and domestic travel – with international travel gaining an additional 6.5 percent since we last conducted our (member) Census," Risner said.
Risner said 217 Results! Travel member agency owners participated in the survey. "By conducting our Census, we now have been able to provide a real, aggregate picture of business today compared to just before the bottom fell out of the U.S. economy five years ago. Anecdotally, we’ve heard from many of our members that their business is doing well."
Among the findings of the survey is a solid business mix. When asked to indicate their overall business mix between domestic and international travel, the average overall mix for survey participants was 53.15 percent for domestic travel and 46.85 percent for international travel. That’s an increase of 6.5 percent for international travel since the 2008 Census, Results notes.
(When asked to indicate their business mix for travel bookings such as leisure, business, group, etc. the overall average mix for members participating in the 2013 Census was: Leisure travel,58.4%; Business travel 28.4%, Group travel, 10.0% Incentive travel,2.4% and other 0.8%)
The “2013 Results! Travel Census” was released in two parts and completed between June 10 and July 5, 2013, by 33 percent of the network’s agency owners.
The survey identifies: the growth of international travel bookings and bookings for all-inclusives (up 6.5% and 8.5% respectively since 2008); the average overall mix of business for members for leisure, business and group travel; percentage of air travel bookings between “legacy” and “low-cost” carriers; and spotlights bookings for various travel segments versus bookings just prior to the significant financial decline of the United States’ economy in 2008. The goal, Results! says, was to compile a highly-composite picture of today’s Results! Travel agencies. This is the first Census that Results! Travel has conducted since 2008.
Other findings from the survey include:
When asked to identify the business mix for the mode or type of travel booking (such as air, car, hotel, etc.),the overall average mix was led by airline bookings, followed by all-inclusives and cruises. Results! noted that it has had airline commission contracts since its inception in 2000. As for all-inclusives – as an overall average of the business mix – that segment is up 8.54 percent compared to responses in 2008.
Car rentals 4.17%
· Air Travel: When asked if Results! Travel members book air travel, nearly all (96%) who completed the survey indicate they book air travel for their clients. Legacy vs. Low-cost: When asked to break down the percentage of airline tickets booked with Legacy airlines or Low-cost airlines, over 81% (81.3%) of tickets are booked with Legacy carriers. That’s up slightly from 2008 when 78.5% of airline tickets were booked with Legacy airlines, Results! said.
· Domestic or International Air: While a majority of airline bookings are for domestic routes, more Results! Travel members are booking international air than in 2008. Currently, the average overall percentage breakdown is 60% for domestic air and 40% for international air. In 2008 it was 66% and 34% respectively.
· Type of Airline Ticket: When members were asked to indicate the percentage breakdown for airline tickets, the results were airline supplier ticket (75.64%), consolidator ticket (12.24%) and cruise/tour supplier airline ticket (12.12%).
· Leisure Travel: Results! Travel members who indicated they book leisure travel were asked to identify their top leisure travel specialties, top destinations for their clients, and their breakdown of domestic/international tours and types of vacation packages.
When asked, “Please select the specialties you most closely identify with your agency” the top responses were as follows. (Agents were allowed to select up to three choices.)
All-Inclusive Resorts: 70.1%
Honeymoons and Destination Weddings: 58.8%
Luxury Travel: 43.1%
Adventure Travel: 20.4%
When asked, “Please select the leisure travel destinations you most closely identify with your agency” the top responses were as follows. (Members were allowed to select up to five.)
1. Mexico: 62.1%
2. Caribbean - Cruises: 59.2%
3. US - Hawaii: 41.2%
4. US - Disney (Includes FL & CA): 35.1%
5. Caribbean - Jamaica: 34.6%
When asked, “In terms of your agency's sales for Tour Destinations, will you please indicate the percentage breakdown?” the average overall breakdown for survey participants was 63.5 percent international and 32.9 percent domestic. (The remainder indicated “no tour sales.”)
When looking at the breakdown for the types of vacation packages booked for clients, the average overall breakdown for members indicate the top three options as: All-inclusive branded vacation packages (37.0%), airline-branded vacation packages (20.36%) and FIT vacations (22.1%).
Pre-Recession Booking Levels: When asked, “Based on your bookings to date, how are your 2013 bookings trending compared to the same time period in 2008?” the responses for various travel categories were:
· Resort: 72.4 percent of survey participants indicate that resort bookings are the same or higher than in 2008.
· All-inclusives: Nearly 71 percent (70.5%) of survey participants indicate that all-inclusive bookings are the same or higher than in 2008.
· Tour: Nearly 71 percent (70.5%) of survey participants indicate that tour bookings are the same or higher than in 2008.
· Hotel: Over 66 percent (66.8%) of survey participants indicate that hotel bookings are the same or higher than in 2008.
· Cruise: Nearly two-thirds (64.5%) of survey participants indicate that cruise bookings are the same or higher than in 2008.
· Car: Over 61 percent (61.7%) survey participants indicate that car bookings are the same or higher than in 2008.
· Air: A majority (54.9%) of survey participants indicate that airline bookings are the same or higher than in 2008.
A record number of Results! Travel owners, agents and independent contractors are registered for the 2013 Results! Travel National Meeting, September 12-14 in Bloomington, MN, Results! says.
Results! Travel is part of Travel Leaders Franchise Group which also includes Travel Leaders.