What does the economy have in store for travel advisors in the year ahead? The American Society of Travel Advisors’ (ASTA) 2019 How America Travels Study polled advisors for their insights on what to expect.
According to the survey, slightly less than half – 47 percent – of travel advisors feel that the overall economy has been doing better over the past 12 months. At the same time, 53 percent feel that the travel industry economy is doing better, while 56 percent feel that their personal business is doing better.
Looking ahead to the next 12 months, a plurality of respondents expect the current conditions to continue – 48 percent expect both the overall economy and the travel industry economy to remain about the same. Thirty-two percent of respondents expect the overall economy to get better, as compared to only 20 percent who think it could get worse, while 40 percent expect the travel industry economy to get better, as opposed to only 12 percent who expect it to get worse.
The outlook is even more positive when travel advisors were asked for the forecast for their own business: 50 percent expect it to get better; 43 percent expect it to stay about the same; and only 7 percent expect it to get worse. ASTA notes that this positive outlook is despite widespread speculation regarding a potential recession: “even if travel advisors feel like the overall economy may be worse, they also feel as though they’ve insulated their businesses,” according to the report.
Travel advisors who frequently book cruises are among the most optimistic. The more frequently respondents book cruises, the more likely they are to feel positively about the economy and their business. Sixty-six percent of those who book cruises several times per week or more feel that the financial health of their business is better than 12 months ago, as compared to 48 percent of those who book cruises less than weekly.