Tripology, the online travel referral service, reports a marked increase in consumer trip requests submitted in 2009 compared with the end of 2008. The variance of trip requests submitted by consumers online at Tripology.com jumped in January by 42 percent over the end of 2008. This increase is revealed in Tripology's newly published January Trend Report.
Tripology also reported that the average maximum budget amount per person declined since August 2008 from $2,593 per person to $2,441 per person, approximately 6 percent. Over the same time period, the average minimum budget amount per person dropped more significantly from $1,176 pp to $968 pp, or approximately 18 percent.
"A decrease in the amount consumers are budgeting for travel per person is in line with recent industry trends showing that travel providers and destinations are offering special offers to attract more travelers. It's no secret that travelers are seeking deals and great values," said John T. Peters, president and CEO of Tripology. "The good news is that with a 42 percent increase in trip requests received via Tripology.com in 2009 over the end of 2008, many consumers are looking to travel in the next 140 days - just in time to kick-off the summer travel season.
"Regarding online travel and consumer behavior, the increase we have seen in trip requests clearly reveals a continued trend of consumers seeking to be matched with travel specialists." continued Peters. "Whether consumers are feeling overwhelmed by the experience of searching online as some industry observers claim, or online travel consumers feel empowered by their online travel research as other research findings indicate, our findings demonstrate that, in the end, many travelers are turning to live experts to help them plan and book their trips based on their specific requests - regardless of how they feel about comparison shopping online."
Some other findings of the studies include the following:
* The top five requested cities are Las Vegas, Cancun, Orlando, London and Cabo. It is important to note that New York is now missing from the top five and has dropped to #17 from #4 in Tripology’s listing.
* There was a modest increase in interest in international travel since November 1, 2008.
* The number of days until departure (the amount of time between quote request and beginning of trip) decreased steadily from August through December 2008 but increased significantly in the early part of January 2009.
A significant positive trend continues at Tripology.com for online consumers looking to be connected with offline travel specialists, despite the recession.