U.S. Travel Agency Air Ticket Sales Increase 175% Year Over Year in September


ARLINGTON, Va.–()–Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) today released data showing ARC-accredited travel agency air ticket sales increased 175% year over year in September 2021. The consolidated dollar value of tickets sold by agencies in September totaled $3.2 billion, up from $1.2 billion in September 2020 and edging slightly higher compared to the August 2021 total.*

Month over month, September 2021 international trips and total trips increased by 3% and 1%, respectively. U.S. domestic trips increased less than 1%.

“Historically, we expect sales and total trips to decline month over month in September,” said Steve Solomon, vice president of global sales, marketing operations and customer experience at ARC. “This year, month-over-month sales started to decline between July and August due to travel restrictions triggered by the delta variant. We’re encouraged to see that decline leveling off, and ticket sales and trip numbers improving with the news of international travel to the U.S. becoming easier for vaccinated travelers beginning in November.”

Total passenger trips settled by ARC in September 2021 increased 103% year over year from 7.6 million to 15.4 million. U.S. domestic passenger trips increased 98% to 11 million YOY. International passenger trips increased 115% to 4.4 million over the same period. The average U.S. round-trip ticket price increased to $390 in September 2021, up from $343 in September 2020.

Year over year, September 2021 EMD sales increased 186% to $6,577,935. EMD transactions increased 142% to 133,179.**

More detailed information is available on ARC’s sales statistics page. Additional breakdown of corporate, leisure and online ticket sales can be found on the ARC COVID-19 data page.

About ARC:

As a leader in air travel intelligence and omnichannel retailing, ARC provides platforms, tools and insights that help the global travel community connect, grow and thrive. ARC enables the diverse retailing strategies of its customers by providing innovative technology, flexible settlement solutions and access to the world’s most comprehensive air transaction dataset. In 2019, ARC managed more than $97.4 billion in transactions between airlines and travel agencies, representing more than 302 million passenger trips. For more information, please visit arccorp.com.

Notes for Editors:

*Ticket Sales

  • Results are based on monthly sales data ending September 30, 2021, from 10,921 U.S. retail and corporate travel agency locations, satellite ticket printing offices and online travel agencies. Results do not include sales of tickets purchased directly from airlines.
  • The average ticket price (USD) is for a round-trip ticket settled through ARC for an itinerary that included only U.S. domestic travel.
  • Passenger trips include the total number of passengers taking a trip from one airport to another using direct or connecting flights. Newly issued trips are added, and refunded trips are deducted to provide a net view of traveling passengers.
  • U.S. domestic passenger trips include the total number settled through ARC where the itinerary is wholly within the U.S. International passenger trips include the total number settled through ARC where some or all the travel occurs to airports outside the U.S. or originates outside the U.S.
  • Total sales are equal to the total amount paid for a ticket, which includes taxes and fees.

**Electronic Miscellaneous Documents (EMD)

  • Includes fees for products and services such as upgraded seats, checked bags, an unaccompanied minor, pet-in-cabin, etc.

© Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). All rights reserved.



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Online Travel Update: MCR Hotels trial runs attribute pricing; Travel Funders Network offers revenue guarantee; and Hopper raises another $175 million | Foster Garvey PC


MCR Hotels Trial Runs Attribute Pricing
(“One of the US’s largest hotel owners is charging guests $25 to use the swimming pool and $20 to check in early — but is cutting room prices in return,” August 18, 2021 via Business Insider)
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, hotel owner and operator, MCR Hotels CEO, Tyler Morse, shared the company’s plans to begin offering attribute pricing for 12 of its independent hotels. According to Morse, the company plans to reduce its hotels’ base room rates, while at the same time charging additional fees for guests’ use of certain of the hotels’ amenities (e.g., pool or fitness center) or other services (e.g., early arrival). Whether MCR’s plans signal the beginning of the lodging industry’s long discussed transition to attribute pricing remains to be seen. With many hotels suspending traditional guest services (e.g. daily housekeeping) during the pandemic (and owners reaping the associated economic benefits), the post-pandemic return of the lodging industry may provide a unique opportunity to rethink guest room pricing. How these new practices might fit with legacy distribution systems, OTA fee structures, sales contracting practices, etc., remains to be seen.

Travel Funders Network Offers Revenue Guarantee
(“Don’t Call Us Oyo: Online Travel Veterans Launch Hotel Distribution Network With Distinct Model,” August 17, 2021 via Skift Travel News) (subscription may be required)
Distribution veterans, Bob Diener and David Litman, launched Travel Funders Network, a new online distribution platform that offers participating hotels minimum revenue guarantees. Participating hotels pay no up-front fees to join the platform, but in exchange for the minimum revenue guarantee, the platform requires larger margins (i.e. larger discounts) on the dynamic net rates it receives. The platform then markets rooms on a standalone or package basis through a “unique” network of private business-to-business channels, including airline loyalty programs and associations. While Diener and Litman hope to ultimately grow the platform to 300-500 hotels (mostly 3-star hotels), only select hotels in key markets will be initially invited to join.

Hopper Raises Another $175 Million
(“Hopper raises another $175M, will add 500 employees,” August 17, 2021 via phocuswire.com)
Readers of our weekly Online Travel Update should be very familiar with online travel platform and fintech provider, Hopper. Beyond its mobile-only consumer booking application, Hopper is perhaps better known for its predictive analytics and suite of travel protection and fintech products (including flight and hotel price freeze, flight delay protection and fully refundable fares and rates) that it offers through its application and other third-party channels (including Capital One’s travel marketplace and recently, Amadeus and its network of travel agencies, metasearch sites and other travel sellers). This latest round of financing (which now brings Hopper’s total financing to $585 million) will be used to accelerate growth (including internationally) and to add much needed staffing to its customer support team. According to Co-Founder and CEO, Fred Lalonde, Hopper expects its 2021 year-over-year revenue growth to exceed 300 percent, with first quarter revenue expected to exceed its prior quarterly peak (Q1 2020) by 100 percent.

Flash Sales: Love Them or Hate Them
(“Trip.com Launches Weekend Flash Deals,” August 17, 2021 via Emsf-Lisboa)
Trip.com ran its flash sales in the U.K., offering UK travelers a 30 percent rebate on domestic hotel stays. The rebates are being offered in the form of “Trip Coins,” which can be used for future travel booked on Trip.com. Time to check those contracts.


Other news:

Former Orbitz, Vacasa Execs Invest in Group Travel Planning Platform TrovaTrip
August 19, 2021 via phocuswire.com
Portland-based startup TrovaTrip has raised $5 million to grow its group travel planning platform. PSL Ventures led the round, with participation from Elevate Capital and Oregon Venture Fund. Barney Harford, former CEO of Orbitz Worldwide and former COO of Uber, and Eric Breon, founder of Vacasa, also participated in the financing.

Choice Hotels, InterContinental Settle Keyword Antitrust Case
August 16, 2021 via bloomberglaw.com (subscription may be required)
Choice Hotels International Inc. and an InterContinental Hotels Group Plc affiliate have reached confidential settlements resolving antitrust litigation over their alleged role in a scheme to prop up prices by rigging online search advertising, according to federal court filings in Texas.



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