Study of U.S. Leisure Travel Paints Optimistic Picture

The leisure travel market in the U. S. is improving, according to a study by Research and Markets. Sales of hotel stays, airfare and rental cars have increased an estimated 37 percent between 2002 and 2007. This report highlights industry shifts that have enabled price increases, focusing on supplier activity and initiatives. Also discussed is how consumers are coping with price increases and what will keep them active in the market.

While the amount of leisure travel is up somewhat, the largest boost to the bottom line has come from price increases across all segments. However, these have not decreased leisure travel as much as feared. Instead, consumers are traveling shorter distances and saving money by staying with family and friends, the report finds. It is primarily higher-income travelers that are keeping the industry thriving, it adds. Special-interest and niche travelers are driving trends that will have an increasing impact on the travel industry. 

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