Travel Leaders Report Mexico Remains Popular with U.S. Travelers Despite 2009 Challenges

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Statistic Show How Much Impact H1N1 Flu and Violence Had on Bookings

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The data from our survey indicates that Mexico bookings were off this year versus last year, but the prominent rankings which many Mexican destinations have in our new survey point to the tremendous savings, value and importance Mexico plays in our day-to-day lives whether for business or pleasure

The tourism industry in Mexico is bouncing back dramatically after a fierce one-two punch earlier in the year by claiming six of the Top 15 International Destination spots in Travel Leaders' authoritative Fall Travel Trends survey. Results from the 7th annual fall survey also reveal the impact H1N1 (Swine) Flu and pockets of violence had on Mexico travel reservations during the early part of the year. The survey of 452 Travel Leaders agents, managers and owners was conducted in August.

The following lists display the top international destinations for the remainder of 2009 based on actual bookings (agents were asked to name up to five top destinations):

Top International Destinations - FALL    
1. CRUISE- Caribbean     (56.6%)
2. Cancun, Mexico (44.9%)
3. Riviera Maya, Mexico (26.1%)
4. CRUISE- Europe Mediterranean (23.9%)
5. Rome, Italy (20.1%)
6. London, England (19.7%)
7. Montego Bay, Jamaica (14.6%)
8. CRUISE- Mexico (14.4%)
9. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (12.2%)
10. Playa del Carmen, Mexico (11.9%)
11. Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, Mexico (11.7%)
12. Paris, France (11.5%)
13. Florence and/or Tuscany, Italy (9.7%)
14. (tie) Negril, Jamaica (9.5%)
14. (tie) Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (9.5%)

"The data from our survey indicates that Mexico bookings were off this year versus last year, but the prominent rankings which many Mexican destinations have in our new survey point to the tremendous savings, value and importance Mexico plays in our day-to-day lives whether for business or pleasure," stated Roger E. Block, CTC, President of Travel Leaders Franchise Group. "As professional travel consultants, our Travel Leaders experts across the United States take
countless actions to maximize the safety of our clients no matter what part of the country or world they are travelling to - and that most certainly includes Mexico."

Among key findings in the Travel Leaders survey:

  •     For cumulative business travel bookings to Mexico for the entire year versus this time in 2008 (150 responses): 51.4% reported bookings were higher or on par with last year while 48.6% reported bookings were lower.
  •     The top three reasons cited for a decline in business travel bookings to Mexico were (73 responses):    

1.    The economy    89.0%
2.    Flu     43.8%
3.    Negative news stories 38.4%

  •     For cumulative leisure travel bookings to Mexico for the entire year versus this time in 2008 (396 responses): 25.3% reported bookings were higher or on par with last year while 74.7% reported bookings were lower.
  •     Travel Leaders agents, managers and owners were asked to indicate how much impact the violence in certain areas of Mexico has had on leisure travel bookings to Mexico in 2009? (352 responses)

o    29.8% of Travel Leaders polled indicated there was little to no impact on bookings
o    46.6% of Travel Leaders polled indicated there was some impact on bookings
o    23.6% of Travel Leaders polled indicated there was significant impact on bookings

  •     Travel Leaders agents, managers and owners were asked to indicate how much impact the H1N1 (Swine) Flu has had on leisure travel bookings to Mexico in 2009? (352 responses)

o    12.8% of Travel Leaders polled indicated there was little to no impact on bookings
o    37.5% of Travel Leaders polled indicated there was some impact on bookings
o    49.7% of Travel Leaders polled indicated there was significant impact on bookings

For more information on travel to Mexico or to find the Travel Leaders location nearest you, call 1.888.206.TRIP (8747) or visit http://www.TravelLeaders.com. When your journey includes us, you travel better.

Travel Leaders is transforming travel with a new name that boldly embodies our commitment to our vacation and business travel clients via a progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. As one of America's top ten-ranked travel companies, Travel Leaders has assisted millions of travelers through our strong roots - the former Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates, TraveLeaders and Tzell Travel Group joined together in 2008 to form one of the industry's fastest-growing and robust networks of travel agents. Travel Leaders Franchise Group can trace its beginnings to 1984 as the Carlson franchise system "Ask Mr. Foster Travel," which itself was North America's first travel agency chain established in 1888.

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