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TIA: 2002 Forecast projects domestic business travel turnaround, leisure travel continues to grow

The Travel Industry Association of America’s (TIA<.>) official Travel Forecast projects that the decline in business travel that…

The Travel Industry Association of America’s (TIA<.>) official Travel Forecast projects that the decline in business travel that many sectors of the travel industry are feeling will turn around. After three straight years of declines, TIA forecasts that business/convention travel volume will increase slightly (+1.4%) in 2002. However, business travel is not forecast to climb back to 2000 levels until some time in 2003.



Despite the terrorist attacks and economic downturn of last year, leisure travel increased (+3.1%) in 2001 and is forecasted to increase again (+1.3%) this year. Overall, total domestic travel volume rose by 2 percent in 2001. This gain was driven by a strong leisure market the first half of 2001, which offset the drop in business travel (-3%) over 2000.



Gains earlier in the year in leisure travel and the modification in travel patterns following the September 11 attacks aided the annual growth, remarked Dr. Suzanne Cook, senior vice president of research for the Travel Industry Association of America. Consumers feel travel is an important part of their lives and they didn’t stop traveling last fall because of the attacks or the weak economy. They simply modified the way they took their leisure trips by traveling closer to home, taking shorter trips and taking more auto trips.



While overall U.S. domestic travel volume rose in 2001, domestic travel expenditures in 2001 were more negatively affected, declining by 5.5 percent from 2000. Domestic travel spending by U.S. residents is expected to continue to be depressed in 2002 before rising 4.1 percent in 2003.



Cook noted that, The travel and tourism industry, in particular airlines and hotels, experienced significant losses in sales and revenues last year. The decreases in air and business travel, along with shorter trips and discounted travel prices, caused the decline in travel expenditures. Domestic travel spending by U.S. residents will not exceed 2000’s record levels until some time in 2004.

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