Travel Insiders Reveal Early Indicators for Fall Travel and Beyond; Travelocity Summer Data Analysis Confirms Record Fares While Offering a Sneak Peek at Consumer Behaviors for the Holidays
SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sept. 21, 2006–Following a record-high summer travel season, Travelocity forecasts more busy skies and full rooms ahead for the holidays. The latest travel data analysis yielded the Travelocity 2006 “rules of the road,” helping U.S. consumers prepare for this season’s holiday travel rush.
Consumers must be ready to secure hotel rooms first this year. Already, occupancy rates are running 12 percent higher for Thanksgiving and 20 percent higher for Christmas compared to the same time in 2005. While airfares have started to come down slightly with the anticipated drop in leisure travel for fall, consumers also have to stay alert for drops in fares to their holiday destinations, while planning as far ahead as possible for peak periods.
“With continued high demand for hotels and airline tickets, the best way to save in 2006 is to buy a package,” says Amy Ziff, Travelocity’s editor-at-large who monitors travel trends around the world. Ziff also encourages consumers to plan ahead this holiday season, as she is forecasting another record breaker.
SUMMER 2006 REPORT:
— Average airfare prices increased by nearly 7 percent over 2005 and by 20 percent over 2004
— Overall summer airfare averages paid by consumers (domestic and international fares included): — Summer 2006 = $373
— Summer 2005 = $350
— Summer 2004 = $311
*The above data is based on air tickets purchased on Travelocity departing between May 26 – Sept. 4, 2006; May 27 – Sept. 5, 2005; and May 28 – Sept. 6, 2004*
“Following such a banner summer travel season, winter is expected to outpace last year as well,” says Ziff. “The volumes for the 2006 holiday are already ahead of where they were last year.”
HOLIDAY 2006 HOTEL REPORT:
— For travelers with more flexibility in their holiday schedules, try to book for off-peak days and when shopping remember fare sales are often released during the middle of the week.
— On average, consumers are booking hotels nearly two weeks farther in advance than for the 2005 holiday season.
— Top domestic hotel bookings for Thanksgiving:
1. Las Vegas 6. Maui
2. Orlando 7. Los Angeles
3. New York 8. San Francisco
4. Honolulu 9. Dallas
5. South Florida 10. Phoenix
— Top international hotels for Thanksgiving:
1. Cancun 6. Aruba
2. Puerto Vallarta 7. Jamaica
3. Paris 8. London
4. Bahamas 9. Ixtapa Zihuatanejo
5. San Jose Cabo 10. Dominican Republic
— Top domestic hotel bookings for Christmas:
1. Las Vegas 6. South Florida
2. Orlando 7. Los Angeles
3. New York 8. New Orleans
4. Honolulu 9. San Francisco
5. Maui 10. Denver
— Top international hotels for Christmas:
1. Cancun 6. Mazatlan
2. Puerto Vallarta 7. Cozumel
3. San Jose Cabo 8. Bahamas
4. Paris 9. Sydney
5. Jamaica 10. London
HOLIDAY 2006 FLIGHT REPORT
— Look for early bird pricing on transcontinental routes – such as New York to Los Angeles and New York to Las Vegas – because these longer routes typically book up more quickly.
— Packages are still THE way to save.
— Consumers can find savings up to $600 for Thanksgiving and
Christmas trips to Hawaii (versus booking the hotel and flight separately)
— Savings up to $270 to Mexico
— Savings up to $215 to the Caribbean
*All prices do not include taxes and fees.*
— Top Domestic flight destinations for Thanksgiving 2006
1. Orlando 6. Los Angeles
2. Las Vegas 7. Dallas
3. Phoenix 8. Ft. Lauderdale
4. Denver 9. Chicago
5. New York 10. Tampa
— Top Domestic flight destinations for Christmas 2006
1. Orlando 6. Honolulu
2. Las Vegas 7. Fort Myers
3. Denver 8. Los Angeles
4. Ft. Lauderdale 9. Tampa
5. Miami 10. Phoenix