ARC Sees ‘Fairly Strong Environment’ For Travel Agencies In 2017

by Michele McDonald
ARC Sees ‘Fairly Strong Environment’ For Travel Agencies In 2017

Photo: InSapphoWeTrust

Despite some uncertainties both at home and abroad, U.S. travel agencies are heading into a “fairly strong environment” in 2017, says Chuck Thackston, the Airline Reporting Corp.’s managing director of enterprise information.

While total airline ticket sales processed by ARC are down slightly year over year, this is a result of the overall trend of lower average ticket prices in most markets, he told TMR. “As ticket prices have trended downward, travel becomes a better value. Supply and demand factors will result in more transactions at a lower per-ticket price.”

A particularly good sign is the increase in transactions at the mega agencies that serve the corporate market now that the presidential election is over.

On the eve of the election, Michael McCormick, executive director and chief operating officer of the Global Business Travel Association, said, “The ongoing global uncertainty and added heartburn from a presidential election unlike any we have ever seen are causing many businesses to stay in a holding pattern, taking an extremely cautious wait-and-see approach bordering on paranoia.”

But now, Thackston said, the travel market is loosening up and returning to something resembling “normal.” Overall consumer confidence is on the rise, he said, and “we’re seeing that businesses have increased confidence, too.”

The dollar value of November sales was up 7.54%. The only other month of 2016 that showed an increase in total sales was August, when they increased 1.83%.

Although agents are still a largely untapped channel when it comes to sales of airline ancillary products and services, the numbers “continue to show healthy increases,” Thackston said, especially in paid seats and hotel room.

“Airlines are recognizing the value of agents, and the trends are up in both sales and transactions” of ancillary products, he said.

Some of the other trends Thackston believes will have an impact in 2017 are:

  • Airlines have been gradually ramping up capacity with more seats in newer planes and additional flights in some cases. This increase in supply will lead to positive trends in the industry.
  • Fuel prices continue to remain at relatively steady levels. This has allowed some airlines to adjust prices to reflect their lower overall total costs.
  • The strong U.S. dollar has made the total cost of international travel more economical for more travelers, and this has stimulated demand for outbound U.S. travel.
  0
  3
Tip of the Day
Remember that we are in an amazing business and you help people fulfill their dreams. Sometimes we just need to look around again to remind ourselves that we are in the mansions of industries with really fun and exciting products to sell.
 
Scott Koepf, TMR Columnist 
Daily Top List

Busiest Cruise Ports

1. Port of Miami

2. Port Everglades

3. Port Canaveral

4. Port of Nassau

Source: Wiki

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Hurricane Maria Update: Resorts on US Virgin Islands Take Stock of Damage
Hurricane Maria Update: Resorts on US Virgin Islands Take Stock of Damage

Hotels and resorts are working diligently to cleanup properties and a lot are pitching in, providing lodging to area’s emergency workers.

Thousands Evacuated Near Bali Volcano Over Eruption Fears
Thousands Evacuated Near Bali Volcano Over Eruption Fears

Authorities have warned tourists against camping or hiking near Mount Agung.

Hurricane Maria Hits Dominican Republic Without Causing ‘Major Damage’ to Tourist Sites
Hurricane Maria Hits Dominican Republic Without Causing ‘Major Damage’ to Tourist Sites

The storm now heads toward Turks and Caicos, though it is not expected to hit the islands directly.

Travel Corp. CEO Sees ‘Huge Opportunity’ in Tour Segment
Travel Corp. CEO Sees ‘Huge Opportunity’ in Tour Segment

The hunger for both authentic and purpose-driven travel is creating a huge opportunity in the tour segment, but travel agent and consumer perceptions still lag, says Brett Tollman.

Hoteliers On The Move, September 2017
Hoteliers On The Move, September 2017

To help you keep up with your favorite GMs and hotel executives as they move around and open new properties, Mary Gostelow offers up a monthly update of who's doing what.

Hurricane Maria Update: Resorts, Cruise Lines React
Hurricane Maria Update: Resorts, Cruise Lines React

Hurricane Maria made its way to the Dominican Republic Thursday, bringing with it winds near 115 mph and heavy rain.

News Briefs
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Imagine Bliss