Reports forecast summer gains, but uncertainty surrounds fall
By Danny King
For U.S. hoteliers and online travel agencies, the living may be easy in summertime.
In the fall? Not so much.
That’s the crux of three recent reports
from travel analysts and trade groups that
are forecasting strong year-over-year gains
for U.S. travel spending this summer and,
from one analyst, a prediction of a spending drop-off once the weather cools.
About 64% of U.S. adults, or 154 million
people, are planning at least one leisure trip
during the next six months, up from the 56%
that were planning summer and early fall
trips a year earlier, the U.S. Travel Association
said, citing an April survey of 2,200 people
that it conducted with MMGY Global.
U.S. Travel also said that the number of
business trips during the past 12 months is
at a five-year high and is expected to rise
“slightly” during the next six
Deloitte, in a
separate report, said 31%
to its April survey of 1,000
on traveling on
54% said they
expected to take
a leisure trip
between June 1
and Labor Day.
UPTICK EXPECTED IN SUMMER SEASON TRAVEL
of people traveling on
Memorial Day weekend
% of people taking a
trip between June 1 and
of people planning
to travel in the next six
SOURCE: U.S. Travel Association and MMGY Global
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Those numbers are up from 24% and
52% a year ago, according to Deloitte,
which added that 80% of those polled will
spend as least as much on summer travel as
they did last year.
“Room rates are back to levels remi-
niscent of pre-financial crisis peaks,” Tim
Mullaney, financial analyst at PhoCus-
Wright, said in a webinar conducted on
May 16. “People were waiting for the price
of gas to spawn some pullback in consumer
spending, and it didn’t happen.”
(PhoCus Wright is owned by Northstar
Travel Media, which also publishes Travel
Those predictions are consistent with
a report released this month by Smith
Travel Research (STR) that said U.S.
hotel-room revenue will reach summer-record highs this year.
Revenue per available room for June,
July and August will rise 5.7% from a year
earlier to $73.59, beating out the previous
summer record of $73.26 in 2007, according to STR.
But PhoCus Wright’s Mullaney said such
a boom might be short-lived, noting that
the travel industry is in for “one to one-
and-a-half more good quarters.” After that,
he expects consumers and businesses to
pull back on travel spending,
owing to uncertainty over both
the upcoming presidential elec-
tion and what Congress will do
to address national debt issues.