The Changing Business of Summer Travel

by Stacey Higgins + Skift Team - Jun 2014

Skift Research Take

It’s a very good time to be in the U.S. travel industry, with summer forecasts looking sunny -- by every measure. Here’s what you need to know about the summer travel season to make successful decisions for your business.

Report Overview

The key summer travel season has arrived, bringing with it the promise of robust revenue and increased guest traffic for travel and tourism businesses. Projections and surveys indicate the 2014 summer travel season will be a banner year for revenue, volume and traveler optimism. It’s a crucial time to capitalize on the travel trends that have been observed in the past six to 12 months, as the majority of American adults plan to take a leisure trip during the summer travel season.

  • 88 percent of Americans plan to take a summer vacation this year, up 11 percent year over-year, with more than half of travelers using reward points to book hotel and airfare, according to survey data.
  • Consumers expect to pay $1,246 per person on average, up 9 percent from last year, according to the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.
  • Hotel revenue per available room increases are being attributed to rate bumps, rather than occupancy gains, indicating pricing power in many U.S. markets.

Rather than driving demand based on pricing, travel and tourism businesses are able to compete on a more sophisticated level of marketing to capture the summer dollars. Today’s traveler has more financial confidence, but wants value.