Holiday Travel Spending Up in 2014

Travel agents can capitalize on clients’ interest in travel over the holidays By: Michelle Juergen
To compensate for the holiday season’s rising prices, agents can offer clients exclusive opportunites. // © 2014 Thinkstock
To compensate for the holiday season’s rising prices, agents can offer clients exclusive opportunites. // © 2014 Thinkstock

The Details

What:
Americans will spend an estimated $83 billion on holiday travel this year, according to a recent survey from Hotwire. $66 billion of this will come from Christmas alone, and holiday-travel spending as a whole is estimated to be up $11 billion from 2013.

Why It Matters:
While some sites offer deals post-Thanksgiving, discounts are often scarce as Christmas approaches and prices ratchet up. Fuel costs may be down, but most airlines will be reinvesting savings or paying off debts, rather than dropping ticket prices, according to trade group Airlines for America. Agents should take advantage of the fact that clients are planning to spend on holiday travel by offering deals or packages that make up for higher prices with exclusive opportunities or amenities.

Fast Facts:
- Americans will spend $83 billion on holiday travel in 2014, up $11 billion from 2013. Christmas will cost travelers $66 billion.

- Thanksgiving car rentals were down approximately 2 percent this year.

- Hotel prices are up 22 percent from last year.

- Airfare prices are up 6 percent from last year.

What They Are Saying:
“If you’re looking for deals, you have to work harder,” said Hotwire CEO Henrik Kjellberg. “Book your air tickets ahead, since those tend to be quite expensive, but book refundable hotels with [24-hour] cancellation policies to lock in prices … then you can look online two to three days before [for cheaper prices].”

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