Future US travel trends: fewer agents, more RV parks
07/04/2007|9:31:00 AM|Travelmole

A record number of Americans will be traveling July 4, but what about down the road in future years?

"Despite high gas prices and concerns associated with a slowing economy, the summer vacation period appears to be on track to contribute another year of growth for the US tourism industry," said Harvey Jones, senior vice president of IBISWorld, which released a timely report on the state of US tourism.

Looking ahead, IBISWorld predicts an annual rate of 2.3% growth between now and the year 2011. The company estimates that this year´s real growth rate over 2006 will be 2%.

US tourists continue to travel despite complaints about high gas prices. According to a Gallup Poll released on May 30, about half of Americans (52%) plan to take a vacation this summer.

What trends will impact the future of US travel?

Over the next five years, IBISWorld expects the Tourism Industry will be impacted by several trends. Some identified in their new Tourism Industry report:

·         Continued fragmentation of the accommodation industry, as travelers shift their preferences over time more towards serviced apartments and other smaller, more hospitable styles.

·         The increasing aging of the population may increase demand for newer forms of purpose-built, long-stay and comfortable, but not expensive, accommodations, as well as new RV parks in major tourist regions.

·         There will be far fewer travel agents, particularly independent ones, as the on-line travel information, booking and payment revolution becomes the norm for the majority of travelers.

·         The regional distribution of the tourism industry should continue to be impacted by the geographic location of the US population, particularly for vacationers who embark on day trips or shorter vacations closer to home.

·         Even remote regions of the country, however will command a share of the market due to the location of National Parks, special attractions, as well as lower costs for accommodations in destinations far from large commercial centers.

The IBISWorld report on the Tourism Industry includes analysis of such industry leaders as AMR Corporation; UAL Corporation;  Air Lines, Incorporated; Hilton Hotels Corporation; Marriott International, Inc.; American Express Company; Carlson Companies, Inc.; Cendant Corporation; and Expedia, Inc.