U.S. travel agencies are putting together another record sales year.
According to the most recent data from the Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC), which looked at numbers from 11,927 retail, corporate, and online travel agencies in the U.S., sales for U.S.-based travel agencies for 2019 have reached $91.3 billion with another month left to go.
Overall, for the first 11 months of the year, sales are trending 2.33% ahead of the same period for 2018.
In November alone, U.S. travel agencies sold $7.1 billion in air tickets, up 3.3% from the $6.9 billion they sold in November 2018. That number, however, is down from the $7.8 billion that agencies sold in September of 2019.
That increase is mostly coming on the domestic side, according to ARC. U.S. domestic trips during November increased 2.3% for the year while international passenger trips are down by 4.5%.
That increase is also coming as the price of the average U.S. round-trip ticket decreased to $496 from $498 compared to November 2018.
According to the most recent “Air Sales and the Travel Agency Distribution Channel” report from Phocuswright, the agency community is majorly responsible for that boost in air tickets sold (even though ARC’s numbers include OTAs).
“Air sales by agents are up and rising, and air remains the largest product category for travel agents. The number of agents charging fees continues to increase, providing another source of revenue on air sales along with commissions,” the report said.