Leisure Travel Climbs Against Challenging Odds

Just in time for Thanksgiving,  Pegasus Solutions is reporting that North America outpaced all other major regions with leisure travel bookings that continued to climb against challenging odds. This includes increasing 4.7 percent globally in October according to data released by Pegasus Solutions. North America outpaced all other major regions’ leisure bookings with a jump of 5.8 percent over the prior year.

Regions outside of North America that showed greater strain in bookings included Europe, the Middle East/North Africa and isolated areas in Asia-Pacific, Pegasus says. However, these locations still maintained increased revenue streams at the broad regional level over both 2010 and 2009. Rates were upheld for the leisure channel overall, rising 2.5 percent over 2010 globally, and 4.3 percent in North America.

“The truth is we’re in a weak global economy, which has impacted the pace of the travel recovery,” said Mike Kistner, chief executive officer of Pegasus Solutions. “As the pace has slowed from the gains made in 2010 and the first part of 2011, leisure demand has still climbed against the odds. In fact, the reality of tighter capital markets and resulting restrained supply growth is ultimately beneficial for occupancy and rates.”

Corporate travel has been labeled the ‘muscle’ behind the travel recovery as October global distribution system (GDS) bookings grew by 4.0 percent, with North America sustaining an increase of 3.3 percent over prior year. Corporate travel rates also showed sturdy growth, as average daily rates (ADR) increased almost 3 percent over prior year globally. North America realized an increase of 4.0 percent, almost reaching the year-to-date growth pace of 4.6 percent, Pegasus says.

Forward-looking data for the leisure market shows steady bookings and rate growth through February, with a potential slowing in rate growth compared to prior year in February, Pegasus reports. In the GDS channel, forward-looking data shows business travel firmly planted in corporate calendars through the rest of 2011 and into 2012. Solid growth is expected into December, with potentially slower booking growth in January and February to be offset by a potential uptick in rates that will provide stable revenue growth, Pegasus reports.

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