Monday, June 11, 2007

AAA Travel Agents Expect Robust Summer Travel Season

Travelers Want to Visit Unusual Places, Cruise Outside the Caribbean
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sixty seven percent of AAA travel agency managers expect that total summer bookings will increase compared to last summer. In addition, 70 percent of AAA travel agency managers anticipate increased international bookings compared to last year, which they attribute to consumers’ increased comfort in traveling to Europe.

Cruising is a popular way for travelers to relax and get away from it all, and this year travelers will expand their cruising repertoire by trying something new. Over half of AAA travel agency managers expect that Alaskan and European cruise bookings will increase compared to last year due to attractive pricing and the cache of cruising away from the Caribbean. Because travelers are looking to cruise new destinations, Caribbean cruise bookings are expected to decrease compared to last year, according to half of AAA travel agency managers.


In an April 2007 survey, AAA travel agency managers identified the following locations as this summer’s top five domestic and international vacation destinations:

Domestic by air:

(Excluding Canada & Mexico)

2007 2006
1. Orlando 1. Orlando
2. Las Vegas 2. Las Vegas
3. Seattle 3. Hawaii
4. New York 4. New York
5. Los Angeles/Orange County
5. Southern California

International by air:

2007 2006
1. Rome 1. Rome
2. London 2. London
3. Vancouver 3. Dublin
4. Cancun 4. Paris
5. Paris 5. Caribbean (in general)

In addition, domestic “hot spots” new for this summer include Chicago, Las Vegas, Boston, Savannah, Ga., and Phoenix. New international “hot spots” include Croatia; Costa Rica; Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico; Warsaw, Poland; and China.

When asked about destinations that most frequently provide the most attractive bargains or best values, AAA travel agency managers identified the following: Las Vegas; Orlando/Walt Disney World, Fla.; Florida (in general); Palm Springs, Calif.; and San Antonio. International destinations identified as top for bargains and value are Australia, China, Mexico, London, and Costa Rica.

In addition, approximately half of AAA travel agency managers indicate that they have noticed an increase in families traveling with children compared to last year. The top three leisure activities families are planning this summer include going to the beach, general sightseeing, and visiting family and friends.

AAA is the largest full service leisure travel agency in North America, generating nearly $4 billion in sales. Travelers can access full-service travel planning at some 1,100 club offices and on AAA.com. In addition, AAA is the premier provider of travel information and trip planning tools including print and online versions of maps, TourBook guides, TripTik map routings, and low member pricing on reservations at AAA Diamond rated hotels.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 50 million members with travel, insurance, financial, and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at www.AAA.com.