Trend Watch: July 5, 2010

For Travelers, Europe Is A Hot Ticket

Trans-Atlantic trips look to be more popular in 2010, according to TripAdvisor’s annual European travel survey of more than 1,200 U.S. respondents, with 60 percent planning to visit Europe in the next 12 months, up from 50 percent who did so last year. In addition, 33 percent say more favorable exchange rates have raised their interest in traveling to Europe this year.

TripAdvisor also revealed its Travelers’ Choice Destinations Awards, including the top destinations in Europe (at right), based on reviews and opinions from travelers on their website.

Among more specific categories, London was named best destination in Europe for nightlife, Florence for culture and sightseeing and Oludeniz, Turkey, for beach and sun.

USTOA: Vacations Are Back!

The U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA) reports that 2010 business is up significantly compared to 2009. In a recent poll, 92 percent of respondents said business is on the rise since the beginning of the year, compared to only 70 percent who predicted a turnaround last fall.

Sales of international tours, vacation packages and custom arrangements led the way, with 96 percent of respondents seeing an average rise of 30 percent over 2009. This beats last fall’s expectations, when members predicted international sales to grow in 2010 by slightly under 20 percent, USTOA reports.

The association attributes the rise to pent-up demand for travel, a somewhat stronger economy and more discretionary income.

Hotel Numbers Up

The U.S. hotel industry is expected to see an increase in all three key performance metrics in year-over-year comparisons by summer’s end, according to revised 2010 figures from Smith Travel Research.

During the summer travel season (which comprises June, July and August), the research firm anticipates occupancy to increase 4.3 percent to 64.4 percent, average daily rate (ADR) to bump up 0.1 percent to $97.17, and revenue per available (RevPAR) room to rise 4.5 percent to $62.60.

Supply is expected to rise 1.8 percent, and demand for the summer is projected to increase 6.2 percent. Revenue for the summer is forecast to rise 6.3 percent.

August is expected to show the largest increases in two of the three key metrics. The month’s ADR is forecast to increase 0.8 percent to $97.63, and RevPAR is projected to report a 5.7 percent increase to $61.81.

The predictions for June are even more favorable, with the month expected to post the largest occupancy increase (up 5.6 percent to 64.5 percent).

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