Travel Agents Increase Air Ticket Sales

ARC reports promising statistics for the travel industry By: Naomi Kahlon
Travel agent ticket sales totaled $79.8 billion from January to November. // © 2013 Thinkstock
Travel agent ticket sales totaled $79.8 billion from January to November. // © 2013 Thinkstock

The Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) recently reported that the consolidated dollar value of airline tickets sold by U.S.-based travel agencies increased 3.35 percent year-over-year in the first 11 months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, and 9.8 percent over the same period in 2010.

“Travel results as reported by ARC are a good proxy for the overall economy because the travel industry is extensive and touches just about every economic segment,” said Chuck Thackston, managing director of data and analytics. “The results can be used as a good barometer for how the economy is performing overall.”

U.S. travel agent ticket sales totaled $79.8 billion from January to November in 2012, $77.2 billion in 2011 and $72.7 billion in 2010. The value of tickets sales indicates the total amount paid for the ticket, including taxes and fees, sold by retail and corporate travel agencies, satellite ticket printing offices and online travel agencies.

ARC also found a slight increase in year-to-date passenger segments. The first 11 months of 2012 saw 342.4 million segments, a .02 percent increase from 2011’s 342.3 million. The findings also reflect a 2.7 percent decrease from the same period in 2010.

“The number of transactions for international flights shows a bit of a stronger performance year-over-year in comparison to U.S. domestic travel,” Thackston told TravelAge West. “Because international travel is more expensive than domestic travel, this is another factor that will lead to good sales numbers with softer results on the number of flight segments.”

Looking ahead, Thackston said that initial analysis of U.S. point-of-sale, advance purchase activity for early 2013 shows trends tracking fairly close to 2012 levels in January and February with a very slight growth in both flight segment volume and sales volume.

“Depending on economic activities in the next 90 days these trends could change,” he said. www.arccorp.com

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