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A new report from the US Centers for Disease Control has found that travellers are increasingly making direct bookings through travel intermediaries (TIs) rather than traditional travel agents. The study, which was carried out between mid-March and early May, found that direct bookings grew by 15.8% year-on-year over the course of the first quarter. This is the first time the CDC has made direct bookings its focus, rather than just the number of tickets sold, and the growth is expected to continue.
At this point, most people know what a travel advisory is—it’s that little piece of paper that tells you when you should be worried about the safety of a particular country. And while most of us don’t usually pay much attention to those little yellow notices, the truth is that land-based travel advisories, which are issued by the U.S. State Department, are one of the most accurate sources out there when it comes to predicting an outbreak of a particular disease.
The newest booking data analysis by travel host agency InteleTravel has revealed some fascinating insights regarding travel customers’ current and near-term behavior.
Its network of independent travel advisers is reporting a significant increase in all-inclusive resort reservations, tour bookings, and other land-based sales in hotspot locations such as Las Vegas, Mexico; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Montego Bay, Jamaica.
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The sales surge has been so significant that InteleTravel and its travel adviser network are claiming that pre-pandemic levels in 2019 have been exceeded. And, with over $225 million in travel goods sold, 2019 was the company’s most successful year in its 30-year existence.
“We have already regained 100 percent of our pre-pandemic business and will finish the year with at least 15 percent above 2019,” said InteleTravel President James Ferrara. Land-based company is projected to account for 68% of the increase.
Sales volumes at the host agency are up 44 percent year over year. Resort packages (usually at all-inclusive resorts) accounted for about 70% of total sales, with solo hotel reservations accounting for 15%, escorted or guided tours accounting for 10%, and excursions and activities accounting for 5%.
Apple Leisure Group’s (ALG) Apple Vacations brand, one of InteleTravel’s preferred partners, has seen reservations increase by more than 90% year over year. Following a massive increase in revenues last month, the top vacation provider is now up 181 percent over the same time in 2019.
A beach trip with the family. (Image courtesy of travnikovstudio/iStock/Getty Images) )
“The second quarter of 2021 saw a spike in demand from Americans seeking to enjoy domestic and short-haul vacations,” said Dave Spinelli, Vice President of Industry Relations at InteleTravel. A combination of broad vaccination distribution and pent-up demand, as well as a buildup of money, frequent flier miles, and paid time off, drove this (PTO).
Meanwhile, InteleTravel predicts that the cruise sector will not experience a significant recovery until the first or second quarter of 2022, despite the fact that it is finally getting back on its feet. Due to the cruise sector’s extended closure during the first half of the year, onboard capacity limitations, and the restricted number of ships departing before year’s end, the travel host agency stated that its land/cruise business balance has changed from 60/40 in 2019 to 80/20 in 2021.
Spinelli made the following predictions about how travel sales would change during the next year: “We still have a lot of vacationers traveling in Q4 and expect significant sales growth in the cruise industry in Q1 and Q2 2022, exacerbated by continuing development in the land business,” says the company. In Q2, our traveled cruise business will approach pre-pandemic levels, and will continue to expand into Q3 as demand remains high.”
It’s been more than a year since the first cases of Ebola appeared in West Africa and the outbreak has now reached epidemic levels. The disease has already claimed over 11,000 lives in the region, and travelers to the affected countries are now being warned of the risk of contracting Ebola. The virus has also jumped the Atlantic, and some airlines have even stopped flying to the West African countries, while others have taken a more cautious approach, implementing a “Code Yellow” policy.. Read more about travel destinations summer 2021 and let us know what you think.
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