This week, Travel Bound, a New York-based wholesaler of hotels, sightseeing tours and transfers for independent travelers, announced that FIT bookings of U.S. hotel rooms through June have increased 70 percent over the same period last year. This makes the U.S. the number one destination for the first time in the corporation's history.
Travel Bound sells exclusively through travel agents. Among its top-selling cities in the U.S. are New York, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., Miami and San Francisco, followed by San Diego, Key West in Florida; Scottsdale, Arizona, and San Antonio in Texas.
"Most agents think of Travel Bound as a supplier of European travel products," Richie Karaburun, president of Travel Bound, said. " In fact, Italy still is number one in terms of our revenue, primarily because of the higher average value of United States Number One FIT Destination for Hotels bookings versus domestic. And Europe remains a very strong seller for Travel Bound."
Since its launch mid-June, the "Travel Bound Rewards" program has registered more than 5,000 agents. Agents earn one point ($1) on an American Express-branded Rewards Card for each hotel night booked and traveled within the United Statse or Canada between June and December, and can check their available balance at any type and can use their Reward Card where American Express is available throughout the U.S. Rather than having to submit proof of bookings to be credited, their points are automatically added after the client has traveled. Rewards dollars are additional after Travel Bound's standard commission.