According to the US Travel Association, the spending for leisure travel, both domestic and international, totaled more than $52 billion in 2010. Of this $82 billion was generated in tax revenue. It is reported that U.S. residents, took1.5 billion personal and leisure trips in 2010.
What this means is this is not only a good time to be a travel professional, but an outrageously excellent time to spread your wings as an outside travel consultant, either part-time or full-time.
In 2010, international traveler spending totaled $134 billion and Americans spent a total of $103 billion overseas, creating a trade surplus of $32 billion for the U.S. There were over 59 million international arrivals into the United States in 2010, with over 26 million from overseas and 33 plus million from Mexico and Canada.
International travel to the United States, directly supported over 900,000 U.S. jobs with $24+ billion in wages.
With numbers like this, travel is not only a good business to be in, but has an extremely profitable forecast for the coming years, along with expected growth in personal travel services.
Where and how travelers purchase travel will always include the best prices, and the most benefits. Mega travel sites will continue to play an important role in setting the standards of cost, expectations and things to do, once you get to a select destination.
It is expected that web sites, which compare airfares, from many different sites, will continue to grow in popularity and more than likely will become the norm when searching for cheap airfare on regular scheduled flights. It remains to be seen if the “book early discounted airfares” will be included in the comparison searches, or will remain only on the websites of the designated airlines.
The questions of how many airfare consolidated businesses will remain open, appears to be one of the next hot topics in the travel industry. But, through it all, personalized travel professionals are expected to do well, and might want to gear up for learning how to snag more online clients.
There are over six million searches a month for the keywords: airfare tickets, and over 9 million searches for keywords: cheap airfare. However, there are twice as many searches for the keyword: travel agency, than there is for the keyword: travel sites
What this says is, millions of people are looking for travel deals every month. Being found by these millions of travelers should be any travel agent’s first priority. It is a world of digital communication, and the one who communicates, most effectively, online wins. Travel professionals will need to learn and understand keywords, such as: Facebook, Linked In blog, twitter, email campaigns, articles, electronic press releases, social bookmarking, forum posting, e-classifieds, RSS Feeds, back links, directories and how these keywords tie into one another. These are just a few of the major keywords, which will become more important to travel professionals who market online. This does not include the phone apps, and being able to book a client to anywhere in the world from your cell phone, or mobile marketing, which is the latest marketing techniques.