Vacation.com forecasts bullish outlook for 2015 leisure travel
This week Vacation.com President John Lovell, CTC, expressed his optimism about the growth of leisure travel in the coming year. The weakened Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar has not yet impacted future bookings and lower energy costs have placed more discretionary income into the hands of consumers. Lovell offered his assessment during Vacation.com’s annual news conference – held today at the new Delta Toronto hotel – in which he highlighted where both Vacation.com and the travel industry are heading in 2015. In addition, Vacation.com revealed its top domestic and international travel trends for the year ahead.
A Look at 2014
“After concluding with a solid 2014, we remain extremely bullish on the state of the leisure travel industry for a very strong 2015. As it pertains to the premium cruise sector, we are seeing solid year-over-year growth in passenger volume, and early reports show strong bookings for escorted tours and a robust start to cruising’s Wave Season,” stated Lovell. “Similar to what has occurred over the past few years, river cruising continues to grow by leaps and bounds. In fact, Vacation.com members report that European river cruising is the top up-and-coming destination among their luxury clientele. The demand for river cruising is still outpacing the supply side of the equation, and we anticipate record sales even when taking into account the new ships, which lead to additional opportunities for those seeking the experience of river cruising. We look forward to what 2015 has to offer as the growth in the industry is mirrored by the increase in bookings among Vacation.com member agencies.”
In a recent survey conducted across a large cross-section of Vacation.com’s Canadian membership, 95% of members said their 2015 bookings are on par or greater than the same time last year, and 99% said they expect their clients will spend the same or more on travel in 2015 as compared to last year. In addition, 100% of Vacation.com Canada membership expressed that their personal outlook was optimistic about their business for 2015.
Lovell continued, “The Caribbean continues to remain at the top of our international destinations list. Like the cruise segment, we turned the year in a very solid position with regard to escorted tours and are projecting solid 10%-12% revenue growth across all of our supplier partners. Europe, in particular Italy, also remains very strong for our network. Additionally we are seeing excellent sales trends developing in some of the more exotic regions like China, Australia and Vietnam.”