ASTA Study Reveals Hot Spots for Consumer Travel

caribbeanConsumer interest in cruises remains high for the upcoming winter and spring travel seasons, with the Caribbean and Mexico topping the destination charts for winter travel while the spring finds U.S. travelers heading to the Caribbean and Europe. This is according to the recently released ASTA Travel Agency Business Trends survey.

About 84 percent of respondents said that their clients were considering a cruise as part of their winter vacation, while 63 percent said the Caribbean was high on their clients’ wish-lists. Mexico (49 percent), Hawaii (36 percent) and ski vacations (14 percent) were also popular winter vacations among consumers using travel agents. Spring travel, agents reported, will include cruises (77 percent) and trips to the Caribbean (54 percent), Europe (53 percent), Mexico (48 percent) and Hawaii (36 percent).

"Regardless of what type of vacation a client is looking for or where they want to visit, ASTA travel agents have the experience and first-hand-knowledge to make sure their client has the best vacation possible," said Chris Russo, ASTA president and chair. "Whether a client is looking for a relaxing get-away at an excellent value or wants to be among the first to visit an upcoming destination, travel agents are there to help make their customer's travel dreams a reality."

ASTA conducted the study to assist leisure and corporate agencies in planning for the future as well as benchmarking their first half 2009 sales performance. Along with questions about agency operations trends, the survey also asked agencies what destinations and types of travel consumers were considering for the winter and spring.

The ASTA Research Family is comprised of a representative sample of ASTA member travel agency owners and managers. The report indicates a 95 percent confidence with an error rate +/- 4.8 percent.