Australian online travel directory AirfaresFlights.com.au has seen an average 65% increase in searches for holiday packages from 2008.
“This year we’re seeing customers coming online in increasing numbers - then searching out a combination of value and price to find good travel bargains,” said managing director Robert Chamberlain. .
“We have an average increase of 65% for this year over last year on total searches for travel package deals, where flights are combined with a hotel, car, or both. It is our fastest growing channel in 2009, with three months showing increases as high as 112% – 130%. That’s a huge increase, holiday package deals look set to be popular well into next year.
“We are also seeing a preference for Australian travellers to come to just one portal to start their travel search, rather than have to visit a series of airline and agency sites.”
Searches for holiday packages will continue into 2010
Research by Deloitte & Touche paints an equally bright outlook for bargain-hunters. “Leisure travelers will continue to seek out specials in 2010,” says analyst Adam Weissenberg. “With hotels fighting to hold their rates as much as possible, they may offer an additional free night, complimentary spa treatment or discounted meals. For its part, the airline industry is also boosting incentives for leisure travelers by offering such things as a monthly pass.”
The Sydney Morning Herald wrote on the popularity of package deals in its 19 July story ‘Travel bargains in the downturn: from gloom to boom’, noting a boom in travel within the country and to nearby destinations, attributed to unprecedented package deals. It named all-inclusive holiday providers as among the ‘big winners in the past year’, referring to P&O doubling its Australian cruising fleet to meet demand and double-digit growth for Club Med’s all-inclusive holidays.
Internationally this year, price is also increasingly the decisive factor.
Financial analysts agree with the experts, with analyst Frederick Moran of Benchmark Company stating that online travel agencies should continue gaining once the economy rebounds. "Online travel agencies are redirecting consumer attention toward themselves as a result of the travel slump in a way that will be irreversible".
In September, The Thomson and First Choice Trends Report 2009 reports that next year will see a rise in demand for package holidays, with all-inclusive trips forecast to jump 6%.
In MSNBC.com’s 28 September coverage ‘Why 2010 will be the year of the travel deal’, travel columnist Christopher Elliott advises that ‘If you thought the travel bargains were unbelievable this year, just wait until 2010’; going on to highlight research by Deloitte & Touche that paints an equally bright outlook for bargain-hunters: “Leisure travelers will continue to seek out specials in 2010,” says Deloitte & Touche analyst Adam Weissenberg.
One of Australia’s top travel portals and a Hitwise.com Top 10 travel industry site, AirfaresFlights.com.au is an independent Australian travel website providing travellers with independent price comparisons. We are an unbiased online travel directory, providing a market for travel businesses to offer their best current deals and airfares to online customers searching for flights and travel packages.
The Sydney-based site has been online since January 2003, working with many top airlines and travel companies. Unlike other travel sites, we do not sell airfares or package deals. AirfaresFlights.com.au has been featured in media and industry sites including the Australian Financial Review, Sydney's Sun-Herald and Internet.com.
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