Travel Agent Resurgence Continues

by Richard D’Ambrosio
Travel Agent Resurgence Continues

Photo: Jamie


The resurgence of U.S. travel agencies continues, as 74% of American Society of Travel Agents members reported growing or stable revenue, and nearly eight out of ten said they grew or maintained their client base in 2015, the association found in a new report released recently.
 
Seven in ten agencies realized a profit, and another 14% broke even in 2015, according to the separate 2016 ASTA Agency Profile report.
 
For the first half of 2016, “financial performance remained strong,” with 74% indicating their revenues increased or maintained the same levels compared to the first half of 2015. ASTA reported similar results in transactions (70%) and number of clients (78%).
 
“The percentage of agencies that reported a profit continues to rise since 2011, indicating improved business trends post-recession,” ASTA said in a report unveiled this week. “Conversely, the share of those agencies that operated at a loss or were unsure about profit/loss condition has been gradually decreasing over the past five years.”
 
“These are all very positive numbers. Our members are still thriving. Consumers are still seeking out travel agents,” said ASTA spokesperson Erika Richter, during a press briefing.
 
Richter said that in an initial pass on first half 2016 data, 56% of agents said cruise sales improved and 53% said travel insurance sales were up versus first half 2015.
 
The increase in sales in 2015 came mostly from cruise, FIT and travel insurance, with all three segments increasing at more than 50% of the agent respondents. These segments were followed by tour groups (48%), hotel (45%) and air (40%).
 
Travel agencies receive the highest commission rates selling travel insurance (19-21%), tours (15-17%) and cruises (13-16%).
 
“Going into 2016, similar positive sales trends remained,” ASTA said in its report, “however, seasonality and isolated geopolitical incidents might have had a certain degree of short-term impact on regional travel that caused some shifts in certain travel segments.”
 
The data was collected through the 2016 ASTA Research Family survey panel, comprised of a representative sample of ASTA member travel agency owners and managers. Members were recruited randomly and were contracted to complete a survey every four to five weeks from January 2016 through November 2016, and 341 Research Family members completed the survey.
  2
  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