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Andi McClure-Mysza and Joe McClure, co-owners of Montrose Travel, recently sat down with TravelAge West to not only discuss the factors that have made their travel agency successful for decades but also reflect on the current and future state of the travel industry.
In terms of industry trends, McClure said that clients are booking further out in advance.
“I don’t know if the trend will continue into 2011, but I think that there are a number of suppliers who saw weakness in early 2011 bookings and are already starting to lower pricing,” he said. “If the suppliers can give the message that prices will not increase, then I think advance bookings will continue.”
Vacations to Europe — despite this spring’s volcanic ash disruption in air travel throughout the continent — remain popular, according to McClure-Mysza.“Now that the euro has stabilized a bit, it has helped bring Europe back,” she said. “Italy, especially, has continued to be a hot destination, and South America has been hot, too. Hawaii, however, is still a bit depressed versus where we usually are [with sales].”
At any rate, both co-owners agree that the travel industry is still very much alive if not thriving.
“It’s not necessarily that the economy has improved dramatically over the last year, but I think people have just gotten tired of sitting on the sidelines,” said McClure-Mysza. “They might have cut back a little by going on vacation for 10 days, instead of 14 days, or staying at a Marriott property versus one of The Ritz-Carlton’s properties, but people are still traveling.”
McClure added that, in his opinion, travel is going to be very profitable in the future.
“Travel is just a cool, sexy product. Therefore, the travel category will continue to grow,” said McClure. “Americans feel that they have an innate right to travel, and I don’t think the industry will fall apart any time soon.”