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Travel bookings remain stable despite Wall Street

According to a recent report by Travel Weekly, many members of the travel industry are seeing steady travel bookings, despite recent fluctuations in the economy and on Wall Street. Though there has been some negative economic news lately, these tour industry members are not seeing any cause for alarm, yet.

“Bookings, both for 2011 and 2012, have actually remained very strong, even as the debt ceiling debate was raging in Washington,” said Tom Armstrong, Tauck spokesman. “We’re not really seeing any slowdown in bookings, so any issues about credit concerns or the stock market don’t seem to be impacting our guests.”

Globus Family of Brands also reported positive booking numbers for 2011 and 2012. The company’s sales are already up 10 percent for early 2012, compared with early 2011 bookings this time last year.

“A bit surprising,” said Steve Born, vice president for marketing at Globus. “But I can speculate that either our market is less invested in volatile stocks, so less impacted than the average [consumer] in week-to-week fluctuations, or that over the months and years, they’ve been more immune to week-to-week fluctuations in the market.”

A few travel industry members, such as Pleasant Holidays, have noticed a decline in bookings. Jack Richards, president and CEO of Pleasant Holidays, attributed this change to the debt crisis and declining stock markets.

However, Richards also noted that he was not yet worried, since the company’s fall bookings to almost all destinations are up double digits over 2010. The company has also reported increased advanced bookings for 2012.

Paul Wiseman, president of Trafalgar Tours, is more concerned about future price increases, which could jump from 10 percent to 25 percent depending on how the strength of the dollar changes in the coming weeks. Airfare, especially, is expected to rise.

“People this year are getting a fantastic bargain,” said Wiseman. “But that has to catch up eventually. We will do our very best to find currency hedges and try to protect our customers as best we can.”

Though it is uncertain as to how the economy will impact travel plans in the long-term, many tourism industry members hope that bookings will continue to remain stable for future bookings.

For more information, read the Travel Weekly article.