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Leisure Travel Consumer Trends 2011

September 13, 2011

The following bits and pieces are intended to give you a sense of where the leisure travel industry is heading these days from different perspectives.

We’ll start with the airlines, since they are our least favorite component of our business.  At one point in our past, commissions from airline tickets comprised 85% of our revenue.  Today, the opposite exsists.  Airline charge travel agenciesfor the “privilege” of issuing their tickets.  We have to buy the equipment to process and report tickets, purchase the actual ticket stock and assume financial liability for the accuracy of the faring of the tickets.  However, it turns out we’re not the only entity with a dim view, they don’t seem to rate well with many of their passengers.  And it is with their most affluent customers who are least happy.

This degree of disenchantment obviously affects the publics interest in buying (or not buying) their ancillary products. Of the ancillary products in demand, comfort services such as extra leg room, followed by flexibility services such as change fees and convenience services such as priority boarding were the most popular.

Avenues for determining where to go are becoming increasingly digitalized and used in varying degrees be different age groups.  The growth in GenY (18-34) use has jumped from 48% to 60% for travel research and up to 72% for accessing content while traveling.  The ability to pick up apps while at the destination has also jumped 30%.   However, the role of guidebooks still represent a large part of this segment since destinations require a mix of content which they provide.  And not to be overlooked is the large role of family and friends which accounts for over half of the trusted source of information.

Consumers asked what types of trips they were planning for this year responded 77% land and 21% land and cruise.  Destinations cited were Europe, Caribbean, California, Hawaii, Las Vegas and Orlando.

Our next blogs will be exploring cruising options, hotel choices and specific destinations—plus any topic of interest to you!

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