So many people ask about the effects of fuel and currency, but the real story is US demand. The fuel savings offsets the increase in the US dollar for packages departing from Canada. Add on top of that, ferocious competition amongst tour operators to fill their committed aircraft and hotel contracts, and you have a buyers market for vacationing customers
Hamilton, ON (PRWEB) January 7, 2009
Not since the 1991 Gulf War has tripcentral.ca President Richard Vanderlubbe seen such crazy travel pricing. "Crazy in a good way, for customers at least! The effects of the economic slowdown in the US changed everything almost overnight."
The credit crisis in the US accelerated the consumer spending on travel, and Americans buy a lot of hotel rooms and flights in our hemisphere. This drop in forward bookings has caused hoteliers to cut pricing, which is then passed on to tour operators, and the competitive forces cause the package prices offered to consumers to fall as well.
"So many people ask about the effects of fuel and currency, but the real story is US demand. The fuel savings offsets the increase in the US dollar for packages departing from Canada. Add on top of that, ferocious competition amongst tour operators to fill their committed aircraft and hotel contracts, and you have a buyers market for vacationing customers" - according to Vanderlubbe.
Web traffic at tripcentral.ca, an online vacation site focusing on Canadian leisure travel is up 20% over the same period last year, despite the economic malaise. Average prices have fallen $100 on an average 7 night all inclusive vacation, and this is after an approximately $50 per person decline last year, and $75 the year before. More significant though, the dollar is stretched further - the quality of the product being purchased is also stronger than last year. "The deals are amazing on 4 and 5 star product."
Las Vegas is another market where package pricing has plummeted. In recent years, the supply of hotel rooms continued to increase, and rates being managed by the hour for revenue maximization were the norm. Today, it is much more like ten years ago when hotels were subsidizing flights to attract customers to their casinos. Consumers expecting to find airfare and hotel booked separately are surprised to find that the package rates are better, for the first time in several years. Cruise pricing is lower than ever - a one week Caribbean cruise on tripcentral.ca from San Juan is selling for C$ 621 per person including taxes (without airfare).
Airline ticket demand is quite last minute at tripcentral.ca, with 70% of the searches made for travel within 30 days. Booking at the very last minute can be expensive as seats sell out, but prices are lower than ever. "I can remember putting letters into my mobile road sign in front of my travel agency right after the start of the 1991 Gulf War. We were promoting tickets to Orlando for $197 including taxes, which was unheard of. We sold one on our website a few days ago for $178 including taxes and it struck me - 18 years later the fares are lower!"
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tripcentral.ca is a Canadian website specializing in vacation travel. It employs 120 people and has 24 locations.