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If you’ve been following the stock market lately, my advice is to back away from the screen — watching the roller coaster ride can lead to shortness of breath and an overall sense of dread. Fortunately, the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) recently released some of the findings from its annual How America Travels study, and the news is generally good.
Despite recent financial ups and downs, results indicate that advisors are feeling optimistic about the industry’s outlook. Nearly one-third of respondents believe that the economy will be better in 12 months than it is now. Advisors also forecast that this will translate into more sales, with 50% predicting that business will be better next year (versus only 7% who think it will be worse). This is supported by consumer data, as well. Travelers report that they are planning to spend nearly $2,000 more per trip than in the past, which translates into a 10% increase in travel spending overall.
“The timing of this study provides us a unique snapshot during a critical crossroads in our U.S. economy,” said Zane Kerby, president and CEO of ASTA. “This is a time in our history where, more than ever, the future is uncertain. But when it comes to leisure travel, advisors have their fingers on the pulse of the traveling public’s discretionary spending. From this study, we learned that the traveler and the advisor agree: Even if a recession does occur, the travel economy will continue to grow.”
In case you think the survey is entirely positive, some respondents clearly indicate they are wary of the current financial situation. While 32% of advisors and 41% of travelers think the economy will be better next year, 20% of advisors and 21% of travelers feel it will be worse.
You’ll have to decide for yourself if an “expect the best and prepare for the worst” approach is right for your business, but it’s probably a good idea to start by shaking off some of the recent doom-and-gloom media coverage. Focusing on the things you can control will help put you in a better position to succeed.