Travel Leaders Group Reports Fall Travel Trends

fall foliageMaui is making waves as the second most popular domestic destination for the remainder of the year, behind Las Vegas – bumping ever-popular Orlando to number three, according to the Travel Leaders Group's Fall Travel Trends Survey.

In addition, survey data pinpoints the average amount clients are spending on an airline ticket (per person) for: the Continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe.

The survey found 80.9 percent of Travel Leaders Group travel agents indicating year-to-date bookings are the same or better than at this time in 2011.

The survey was conducted by Travel Leaders Group from July 30 - August 23, 2012, and includes responses from 871 U.S.-based travel agency owners, managers and frontline travel agents from the flagship Travel Leaders brand, along with – for the first time ever – those affiliated with Travel Leaders Group’s Luxury Travel Network, Nexion, Results! Travel, Tzell Travel Group and Vacation.com units.

In last year’s survey, Maui was the top recommended domestic destinations by Travel Leaders, the consortia reports. According to 2012 data for travel between September 1 and the end of the year, it appears consumers are heeding that advice, as Maui jumps three spots to rank second behind Las Vegas.

Internationally, Caribbean cruising and Cancun, Mexico, continue to be the most popular destinations. In a stunning turn, Travel Leaders reports Mediterranean cruising ranks #3 and European river cruising has cracked the Top 10 among all international “destinations.”

“Based on our survey data, it is abundantly clear that savvy travelers – heeding the advice of our travel professionals – are taking advantage of ‘shoulder season’ in Europe. In fact, one of the hottest trends in cruising, as well as international travel, is European river cruising because the smaller, more intimate ships are able to make stops in the heart of European cities and towns. The value in heading to Europe in the fall is reflected in our survey rankings,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben.

“What is most encouraging from an industry perspective is that 8 out of every 10 agents polled indicate their business is on par or better than last year at this time. That says that our clients have the peace-of-mind to go explore – both close to home and internationally – despite the uncertainty in economic markets domestically and in Europe," Liben said.

Average Cost of Airfare for Select Geographic Destinations:
- Domestic (Continental 48): When asked “What is the average cost per airline ticket, per person you are booking for clients within the (U.S.) Continental 48?” 73.6 percent of Travel Leaders Group agents selected $300-499, while 12.6 percent indicated $500-599.

- Alaska: When asked “What is the average cost per airline ticket, per person you are booking for clients to Alaska?” 59.3 percent of agents stated $600-899.

- Hawaii: When asked “What is the average cost per airline ticket, per person you are booking for clients to Hawaii?” 56.3 percent of those polled indicated $700-999, while 21.2 percent indicated less than $700.

- Caribbean: When asked “What is the average cost per airline ticket, per person you are booking for clients to the Caribbean?” 52.4 percent of agents selected $500-699 while 15.4 percent $700-799.

- Mexico: When asked “What is the average cost per airline ticket, per person you are booking for clients to Mexico?” 61.3 percent of agents polled indicated $400-599.

- Europe: When asked “What is the average cost per airline ticket, per person you are booking for clients to Europe?” 53.3 percent of agents indicated $1,000-1,299.

Over 80 percent indicate bookings are the same or better than 2011: They’re higher say 52.1 percent.

Optimism in the Travel Industry: When asked for their professional outlook on their business for the remainder of 2012, an overwhelming majority (92.6%) are either positive or neutral. In 2012 the optimistic were: 74.3 percent.

Visit www.travelleadersgroup.com

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