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Travel Leaders Shows How to Travel in a Tough EconomyMarch 2, 2009 By: George Dooley
Travel Leaders member agencies are actively advising clients of significant – and in some cases, unheard of – price reductions currently available while also reassuring their would-be travelers how their decision to travel inherently stimulates a large and essential segment of the U.S. economy, according to Roger E. Block, president of Travel Leaders Associates (formerly Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates)
“Fortunately for those Americans wishing to travel now, there has probably never been a better time to take a trip, thanks to substantial price reductions across virtually every segment of the travel industry,” Block explained. “Business and leisure travelers alike can travel with the confidence that they’ll receive increased value for every dollar they spend, as well as with pride in knowing they are contributing to our nation’s economic well-being.”
Block said that some of those ways include: taking advantage of travel incentives, promotions and price reductions, encouraging flexibility on time of travel, including traveling off-peak times as well as seasons, considering alternative airports, particularly in regions served by two or more airports, working with trusted travel suppliers, including air consolidators, using bundled tour packages, which can provide higher savings than pricing air, hotel and car rentals separately, comparing advantages of all-inclusive resorts with cruising, sailing out of home ports and comparing advantages of flying with driving.
Block said Travel Leaders experts are also reassuring hesitant clients on the bigger picture by educating them about the enormous impact that travel and tourism has. According to the U.S. Travel Association (USTA), the annual spending on travel in the U.S. equals $740 billion.
“That’s almost as much as the entire economic stimulus package passed by Congress,” noted Block. “Whether it’s Las Vegas or Orlando, where hundreds of thousands of workers are directly or indirectly employed in travel and tourism, or communities throughout the rest of the country that rely on airlines, hotels, resorts, car rental companies, restaurants, theme parks and other tourist attractions for productive jobs and the taxes they produce, travel serves as a natural economic stimulus to keep America working.”
Block also took note of studies that demonstrate an actual decline in overall quality of life when consumers hold off on traveling. Two studies cited by the USTA reveal that travelers rate their overall health one full point higher (on a scale of one to five) while on vacation, and that an inability to take a break can lead to greater stress and burnout on the job.
“As one of America’s largest industries, travel and tourism is the vital lifeblood that courses through our nation’s veins. Continued corporate and leisure travel strongly contributes to a healthier economy,” stated Block. “While we can appreciate and understand why many individuals may be reconsidering their travel plans, our Travel Leaders nationally are advising their clients on the most effective ways to stretch their dollars for maximum value.”