Travel Leaders Upbeat on Fall Travel Trends

Travel Leaders reports the results from its yearly Fall Travel Trends Survey indicate  that bookings are slightly higher for this fall than they were for the fall of 2010. This finding is despite the extreme volatility in the United States’ economy in the month of August, Travel Leaders notes.. Conducted August 1-19, 2011, the survey includes responses from 443 Travel Leaders owners, managers and frontline travel agents throughout the United States.

While Las Vegas, Orlando and Honolulu, respectively, are the top three destinations being booked for the remainder of the year – the top recommendation from Travel Leaders agents would be Maui (followed by Orlando and Honolulu). Internationally, London makes an impressive jump into the top three, Travel Leaders says, sneaking past Rome and placing just behind Caribbean cruising and Cancun, Mexico. The top recommendation from Travel Leaders agents would be the Riviera Maya in Mexico (followed by Rome and Cancun).

“For the ninth year in a row, we have sought actual booking data and insider expertise from our Travel Leaders agents nationwide in order to gauge trends for end-of-the-year travel,” said Roger E. Block, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group. “We are encouraged that Americans – whether for business or leisure – are continuing to travel, and more frequently than a year ago despite the uncertainty we’ve seen recently in our country’s economic indicators.”

“There truly is pent-up demand from the American traveler. That is very likely one of the big factors for London making such a move up our Top 10 list,” added Block. “With events like the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the upcoming Olympic Games in 2012, as well as the royal wedding earlier this year, perhaps London is enjoying a ‘halo effect’ this fall. Also, for London, Rome and Paris, along with the Mediterranean cruises, all to be doing so well, it’s clear that more Americans are willing to venture farther away on vacations now that so many have  passports in hand.”
Top Recommendations for Leisure Travel:
•    When Travel Leaders owners, managers and agents were asked “If your leisure clients were looking for a recommendation on a domestic destination (excluding cruises), what would be your number one recommendation?” the top responses were: (1) Maui, (2) Orlando, (3) Honolulu, and a tie for fourth between Las Vegas and San Francisco.
•    When asked “If your leisure clients were looking for a recommendation on an international destination, what would be your top recommendation?” the top responses were: (1) Riviera Maya, Mexico; (2) Rome, Italy; (3) Cancun, Mexico; (4) Paris, France and (5) Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
More People Traveling in 2011:
•    When asked to compare overall 2011 travel bookings so far to 2010 at this time last year, 55.3 percent indicated that their bookings were higher and 24.2 percent indicated that they were the same as compared to a year ago. This also represents a huge turnaround from responses as recently as two years ago.

Optimism in the Travel Industry:
•    When asked for their personal outlook on their business for the remainder of 2011, an overwhelming majority (91.6 percent) is either positive or neutral.

Travel Leaders is part of Travel Leaders Group that generates gross travel sales in excess of $16.6 billion.



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