While predictions of a firm economic recovery are always problematic, there is some good news for travel agents. ARC reports that the consolidated dollar value of airline tickets sold by U.S.-based travel agencies increased 6.36 percent year-over-year in the first seven months of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010, and 28 percent over the same period in 2009. January through July 2011 ticket sales totaled $50.5 billion, compared to $47.5 billion in 2010, and $39.4 billion in 2009.
Year-to-date passenger segments for the first seven months of 2011 fell 2.5 percent – at 219.3 million segments, compared to 224.9 million in 2010 – while reflecting a 4 percent increase over the same period in 2009. Ticket transactions for January through July 2011 were down slightly, at -2.05 percent compared to the same period in 2010, while up 6 percent over the same period in 2009.
ARC notes that the results are based on sales data ending July 31, 2011 from 15,043 U.S. retail and corporate travel agencies, satellite ticket printing offices, and online travel agencies. ARC data does not include sales of tickets purchased directly from airlines and that total sales are equal to the total amount paid for a ticket, which includes taxes and fees.