Travel Agents Have More Influence: YPB&R Study

YPB&R has unveiled the results of its 2006 Portrait of Affluent Travelers survey. The conclusions of the study were developed from a national sampling of 600 "affluent travelers." The good news is that the use of travel agents' expertise by affluent travelers is increasing: Nearly three in 10 affluent leisure travelers report using a travel agent to gather information or book a leisure trip requiring luxury accommodations. This usage is not significantly different from the level recorded in 2004, the last time the study was conducted. What is significant is the fact that 54 percent of affluent travelers used an agent to select their destination, that's up from 39 percent in 2004. It gets better, when it came to selecting a cruise line, 33 percent of affluent travelers relied on their travel agent, compared to 25 percent in 2004. When it came to selecting a vacation or tour company, 30 percent of affluent travelers relied on their trusty travel agent, compared to 22 percent in 2004. Note: YPB&R's affluent travelers are defined as follows: Have minimum annual house income of $150,000; have taken one or more overnight trips of at least 75 miles from home for business or pleasure during the previous 12 months that required luxury overnight accommodations; have stayed in a luxury hotel or resort at least once during the previous 12 months.

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