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Bookings for five-star hotel vacation packages up 61 Percent on Expedia in 1stQ 2009

Economic climate allows travelers to ‘upgrade’ with last year’s budget

Expedia released the new issue of the Expedia Travel Trendwatch. Most notably, this issue of the Trendwatch highlights how unparalleled travel industry dynamics – specifically the economy, the rising value of the dollar and a drop in oil prices – are creating significant travel opportunities for consumers. The report also highlights the best value destinations domestically and abroad, as well as tips for making the most of vacation dollars…

Expedia released the new issue of the Expedia Travel Trendwatch. Most notably, this issue of the Trendwatch highlights how unparalleled travel industry dynamics – specifically the economy, the rising value of the dollar and a drop in oil prices – are creating significant travel opportunities for consumers. The report also highlights the best value destinations domestically and abroad, as well as tips for making the most of vacation dollars.

"As travelers gear up for the busy summer travel season, they’re going to find incredible values in many of the most popular vacation destinations," said Tim MacDonald, general manager of Expedia.com. "Travelers this year have the opportunity to spend less to vacation in their favorite destination, or use the same budget as last year to upgrade their vacation and travel."

The complete Expedia Travel Trendwatch can be found at www.expedia.com/tips. Key highlights from this issue include:

1. Demand for Travel is Down, But Value is Up
– Average daily hotel rates fell significantly in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter of 2008. Las Vegas is down 34 percent, New York is down 22 percent, San Diego is down 16 percent and Orlando is down 14 percent.
– Average airfare prices are also down significantly compared to last year. For example, flight prices on New York to Las Vegas routes were down 15 percent in the first quarter 2009 compared to 2008.
– The average cabin rate for Caribbean cruises dropped 19 percent on Norwegian Cruise Lines and 18 percent on Disney Cruises in the first quarter 2009 compared to the same period last year.
– International value destinations this year include Lima, Peru and Toronto, Canada where flight prices declined 13 percent and 25 percent respectively in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter of 2008.

2. Luxury Values: Travelers are Trading Up
– Driven by incredible values at higher quality properties, Expedia customers are using their same vacation budget to upgrade to hotel properties that might have been out of their price range last year.
– The average daily rate at a five-star hotel property in the U.S. was $237 in the first quarter of 2009, down 25 percent from the first quarter last year. Travelers are taking notice – five-star hotel vacation package bookings in the U.S. are up 61 percent in Q1 2009 compared to Q1 2008.

3. Tips: Making the Most of Vacation Budgets
– Book Together & Save: In 2008, Expedia customers worldwide saved more than $248 million by booking hotel and airfare together.
– Consider Trading Up: If you have the same vacation budget as last year, consider trading up for a higher quality hotel. Because of low demand, you can do more with less this year.
– Try Something New: If your vacation budget is lower this year, spice things up with a new destination or a cruise.

Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website | + Posts

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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