Travel Agent Bonanza Continues With Strong Summer Vacation Season

by Richard D'Ambrosio
Travel Agent Bonanza Continues With Strong Summer Vacation Season


Vacation travel spend will reach all time highs this summer, a rising tide that continues to lift travel agent boats. 

For the first time, summer travel spend will top $100 billion, a 12.5% increase over 2016, according to the eighth annual Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Index. This is the second consecutive year that Allianz forecasts American summer vacation spending will rise, estimated to $101.1 billion, up from $89.9 billion in 2016.  

On average, Americans will spend $1,978 on summer vacations, a 10% increase from 2016 ($1,798), which was an 11% rise from 2015 ($1,621). Generation Xers (ages 35-54) will spend the most ($2,628), on average, Allianz’s forecast predicts, followed by Baby Boomers (ages 55+) ($1,865). Millennials (ages 18-34) are forecasted to spend $1,373 on average. 

“We hit a big milestone surpassing $100 billion. It’s a combination of more people traveling, and those who are, are spending more,” said Allianz Global Assistance USA spokesman  Daniel Durazo. 

Durazo pointed out how summer travel spend rose only 5.1% in 2016, off a slow 2015 when summer travel spend was forecast to be down 13.5% from the $98.8 billion forecasted to be spent in 2014. “This is good news for travel agents. There is a big population out there who wants to travel, and they’re willing to spend more money.” 

The Allianz survey also tracks American confidence in taking a summer vacation. According to this year’s report, 44% (up one point from 2016) are confident they'll take a summer vacation. Thirty-four percent said they are very confident, while 10% said they are somewhat confident. 

Another 51%, also up about a point from last year, say they are confident they will take a vacation at some point in 2017. Four in ten aren't confident about taking a vacation, while 9% have already taken one.  

While Americans are slightly more confident they'll take a vacation this year, some are questioning its overall importance. The survey found that 59% of Americans say that taking an annual vacation is important to them (32% very and 27% somewhat important), but 23% said annual vacations are not at all important to them. In last year’s survey, 65% of Americans said taking an annual vacation was important. 

Good news for the luxury sector
But at the same time, in what appears to be good news for the luxury sector, there appears to be a bifurcation of vacationers, Durazo said, between those he calls “the haves,” and “have nots.” 

“In the past, vacation confidence has been about the economy and travelers not feeling like they had the money, he said. Now we are seeing the haves are loosening their purse strings. But the have nots are struggling because of uncertainty at work, or the economy, and they are wondering if it is a good idea. This is the first year we have seen that division.” 

The Vacation Confidence Index has been conducted each summer since 2010 by national polling firm Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance USA. A vacation is defined as a leisure trip of at least a week to a place that is 100 miles or more from home. A sample of 1,009 randomly-selected American adults participated in the survey from June 1-4, 2017. 

  0
  0
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Best Travel Destinations Within 5 Hours of NY

1. Bermuda

2. Iceland

3. Miami

4. Austin

5. Tulum

Source: Business Insider

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=5c08d99e-83d0-e811-ba59-782bcb66a2f2

Taking the Advice of Experts and Cruising New Zealand

Visits to the unspoiled islands and flawless natural wonders of New Zealand make this journey one your clients will never forget.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Have Consumer Direct Hotel Programs Peaked?
Have Consumer Direct Hotel Programs Peaked?

A recent leading consumer travel study shows that direct hotel bookings may have plateaued in 2017 — good news for travel advisors.

Travel Agent ‘Comeback’ Continues to Confound the Public
Travel Agent ‘Comeback’ Continues to Confound the Public

The so-called revival of travel advisors was a focus of attention during a panel discussion at the Skift Global Forum – and the source for some humble pie.

Can This Destination Wedding Be Saved?
Can This Destination Wedding Be Saved?

What if someone planned a destination wedding, and barely anyone wanted to show up? Travel agents offer advice on how to avoid the ultimate nuptial nightmare.

Cutting Through the Perplexity: Eight Critical Items for New Travel Advisor Businesses
Cutting Through the Perplexity: Eight Critical Items for New Travel Advisor Businesses

Industry expert gives guidance about legal issues including disclosures, insurance, copyright laws, business continuity planning, and employee vetting.

ASTA Urges Support Against Pennsylvania Tax Bill
ASTA Urges Support Against Pennsylvania Tax Bill

The bill is aimed at large, out-of-state online agencies, but its new hotel tax will detrimentally impact traditional brick-and-mortar travel advisors.

Four Travel Agents Shake Up Their Business Models for 2019
Four Travel Agents Shake Up Their Business Models for 2019

Whether it’s reconsidering brick-and-mortar, looking for new ways to retain talent, or reaching out to ‘social influencers,’ it’s always a good time to consider innovation.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Tauck