In many ways the travel industry has been one of economy’s classic canarys in a coal mine- when it’s health starts to flag, it’s probably a good time to get out of any bull market. Unfortunately, in order to get any consumer market going again spending needs to occur, which is precisely what consumers are unlikely to do when the crunch is on their wallet.
However, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel, and a new survey indicates that travel deals like today’s historically low air fares and passenger-benefit upgrades may be enticing consumers out of their spending funk. In support of this, 70 percent of those individuals interviewed by Ruf Strategic Solutions on behalf of “Travel Guard” (www.travelguard.com) stated that the measures will likely motivate them to travel in 2009-2010.
Thirty percent of consumers surveyed also stated that they will not give up vacations for other discretionary purchases in 2009, and of those who stated that they are not going to travel, only nine percent stated that the economy was the reason. Instead, 83 percent said that they were staying because they had just taken a summer vacation.
There’s also good news for the travel industry as it gears up for the fall and winter tourism season, with 43 percent of travelers polled stated that they are likely to travel in the coming months. Of these individuals, a majority of them indicated that they are likely to go on “extended journeys,” such as travel to international cities or cruises, with 60 percent indicating they are likely to spend between $1,000 and $5,000 for their total trip’s cost.
So things appear to be looking up, and aside from the obvious setback of cost, what are the top things keeping tourists away from travel? According to the survey, worries over “routine travel mishaps,” such as changes in airline fees, delays, and cancellations. In spite of this, the survey seems to show an upward trend of consumer confidence, which industry experts will be monitoring closely in the coming months.