Bon Voyage: Tour Operators in the US Industry Market Research Report Now Updated by IBISWorld

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IBISWorld estimates that industry revenue declined an average 1.3% per year to $3.8 billion over the five years to 2012Recovery for the Tour Operators industry is on the horizon. After fighting through declines during the recession, revenue is expected to continue to recover in 2013, when industry revenue is anticipated to grow 3.2% to $3.9 billion.

IBISWorld Market Research

IBISWorld Market Research

Despite competition from the web, rebounding travel rates keep the industry recovery-bound

The Tour Operators industry struggled in 2009, when industry revenue declined by 11.3% as the recession decimated demand. According to IBISWorld industry analyst and report author Nima Samadi, “the industry has turned the corner over the last few years, with tour operators' revenue growing 4.0% and 2.1% in 2010 and 2011, respectively. The industry is expected to grow an additional 3.8% in 2012 to $3.8 billion. Nevertheless, the industry's overall performance in the five years to 2012 will not be positive, with revenue decreasing at an average annual rate of 1.3%.”

As well as tough economic condition, including high unemployment and lower consumer spending, the industry has had to contend with falling domestic travel and international arrivals into the United States. In 2009, inbound travel declined, with 5.2% fewer people visiting the United States than in 2008. Domestic travel also declined 5.1% that year. With fewer people coming and going, tour operators' revenue dropped. However, domestic and inbound travel rates have improved over the course of 2010 and 2011. In 2012, domestic and inbound travel are forecast to grow an additional 3.3% and 5.4%, respectively. Improving domestic and international travel rates have led to higher demand for tour operators' services.

The Tour Operators industry is experiencing increased competition from consumers directly booking travel accommodations online. Many tourists, Samadi says, “want flexible tour packages and itineraries: more travelers desire self-discovery time in line with their own interests, which requires them to travel at a relaxed pace. Given this trend, the demand for niche and special-interest tours is rising, which often command a premium.”

This industry has a low level of concentration. The top four players are estimated by IBISWorld to capture les than 38% of the available market share in 2012. Industry major players include Flight Centre and The Mark Travel Corporation. Over the five years to 2017, high levels of concentration will put pressure on industry participants. Competition from internet-based transport and accommodation providers will compound this pressure. Industry operators are also anticipated to experience increasing demands from customers in relation to services and pricing. Industry consolidation is therefore expected to continue due to competitive pressures, and other travel firms will be acquired by larger players wanting to extend their geographical reach, increase brand name recognition, boost product offerings (e.g. by accessing limited-capacity destinations) and cut operational costs

For more information visit IBISWorld’s Tour Operators in the US industry page

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Businesses in this industry plan, package, market and sell multiple vacation elements, including air or surface transportation arrangements and accommodations. Package tours are generally sold to the public through travel agents, and tour or wholesale operators are included in this industry. Suppliers primarily engaged in providing accommodations, such as owners or operators of hotels, resorts and cruise lines, are not included in this industry.

Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.


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Gavin Smith
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