In its eighth annual Fall Travel Trends Survey, and its first authoritative survey since the Gulf Coast oil spill, Travel Leaders experts provide actual booking data and comparisons to show that, for the vast majority of survey participants, the natural disaster is having no impact on travel plans they’re booking for the remainder of the year. Additionally, the survey found that overall year-over-year bookings are continuing to swing upward with Orlando and Caribbean cruising serving as the most-booked domestic and international destinations, respectively.
“While businesses throughout the Gulf Coast region had been severely impacted all summer by the effects of the devastating oil spill, our survey demonstrates that there is real hope for the entire region in the upcoming months when tourism there perennially begins to rise,” stated Roger E. Block, CTC, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group. “The vast majority of our travel experts indicated that there hasn’t been any negative impact from the oil spill on fall travel bookings for Florida, as well as Louisiana. Also, Orlando continues to stay one step ahead of the previous king in our Top Destinations list. Orlando took the crown from Las Vegas for the first time in January and continues to reign as the number one domestic destination being booked by our Travel Leaders experts.”
Conducted August 3-30, this survey includes responses from 415 Travel Leaders owners, managers and frontline travel agents throughout the United States.
Oil Spill Impact on Travel Plans
* 80.5 percent indicated there had been “no impact” to their fall Florida bookings because of the oil spill.
* 90.1 percent indicated there had been “no impact” to their fall Louisiana bookings because of the oil spill.
More People Traveling in 2010
When asked to compare overall 2010 travel bookings so far to 2009 at this time last year, 53.7 percent indicated that their bookings were higher. That’s a jump of 44.3 percent compared to the response from a year ago.
Optimism in the Travel Industry
When asked for their personal outlook on their business for the remainder of 2010, 73.5 percent indicated they are optimistic, 19.3 percent are neutral and a mere 7.2 percent indicated they are pessimistic. (The figures in 2009 were: 59.5 percent optimistic, 22.3 percent neutral and 18.2 percent pessimistic.)
Top Domestic and International Destinations
1. Orlando— 52.8 percent
2. Las Vegas— 50.1 percent
3. New York City— 33.5 percent
4. Honolulu— 28.9 percent
5. Kahului (Maui)— 21.7 percent
6. Chicago— 18.6 percent
7. San Francisco—14.7 percent
8. Los Angeles—13.5 percent
9. Washington, DC— 12.5 percent
10. Cruise – New England— 11.8 percent
10. Fort Lauderdale— 11.8 percent
10. Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ— 11.8 percent
1. Cruise- Caribbean— 53.7 percent
2. Cancun— 43.9 percent
3. Riviera Maya— 25.8 percent
4. Cruise- Europe (Mediterranean)— 24.6 percent
5. Rome—18.1 percent
6. London—16.6 percent
7. Montego Bay, Jamaica— 13.3 percent
8. Playa del Carmen— 13 percent
9. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic— 11.6 percent
10. Paris—11.1 percent
When asked, year-to-date, how would they compare leisure travel bookings to Mexico versus this time in 2009, 38.4 percent said they're higher, 26,8 percent said they're about even, and 24.8 percent said they're lower.
Strength of U.S. Dollar
When asked if the increased value of the U.S. dollar throughout the first half of the year helped international bookings, 63.1 percent said international bookings have increased, while 36.9 percent said it has had no impact on my international bookings.
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