In the media, we are often the recipients of well-crafted press releases pushing a specific agenda. That is, after all, their purpose. But taken together, these documents of fact and hyperbole can often be a good indicator of changes in the industry. This week, for instance, we’ve received plenty of package and deal offers, as we always do, but they’re couched as news with some interesting trends that say a lot more about travel in 2010 than their writers might realize.
Here’s a sampling of just some of the positive news we’ve heard this week:
* According to the team at the Globus family of brands, travel to Europe is up 61 percent year-over-year, with Spain up 92 percent, France up 80 percent, Italy up 63 percent and Britain and Ireland up 62 percent.
* Skyscanner's statistics show a 130 percent increase in searches for cheap flights to the U.S., over last year. Travelers from the UK lead the pack, followed by Germany and Italy. China has shown a great increase this year, surpassing Russia. In addition to the usual suspects (New York, Orlando, Las Vegas , etc.), cities that are not usually regarded as destinations for foreign tourists, like Phoenix and Portland, OR, have also shown growth—a trend that is expected to increase in the coming months.
* The Hawaii Tourism Authority reports substantial growth in total visitor spending on Hawaii's Big Island, up 15.3 percent to $144.8 million, and Maui, up 5.7 percent to $267.5 million, compared with last January. Hawaii Island, Maui and Kauai all saw positive visitor arrival growth.
* ARC notes that February 2010 is showing significant gains over January 2010, accelerating seasonal expectations and giving both sales and transactions a much-needed boost for the first quarter and building on the positive conclusion of the fourth quarter last year.
They’re different indicators and from different sources, but the common thread is that we’ve been seeing more and more positive news from all over the travel industry recently. We just thought we’d share some of it to get your weekend off to a happy start.