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2009 Travel Predictions.
This is the time of year when I look back on the year and reflect on all the changes and dust off that crystal ball in predicting what will happen next year. I am proud to say in 2008, I have now personally inspected over 100 resorts in Mexico alone.
Last year I said airfares would go up but who would of ever thought as much with fuel prices this past summer. I knew some of the airlines were possibly considering following some of the European airlines lead in charging for things like checked in baggage but I did not think they would all go full speed ahead. There was a time during the summer we could not keep up with who was charging for what.
So let’s see what this hazy crystal ball says about 2009.
With all the gloom and doom we hear everyday on the news I am optimistic about the travel industry in 2009 and here is why. Declining demand for travel has forced many of the hotels, resorts, cruise lines, tour operators and car rental companies to get aggressive in their pricing. I already see some cruise lines eliminating the fuel surcharges they implemented when fuel was going through the roof. I even hear rumblings about the airlines getting aggressive on airfares too. Do I see them doing away with charging for checked in baggage? No, I do not think so and this will only help Southwest Airlines if they stick to their strategy.
Every airline cut back their flights in 2008 so even if fares drop on average in 2009, there are less seats to be booked so the ones who book early have the better chance of getting the dates they want at a decent price.
Since I focus much of my attention in the all-inclusive resort market, I see a lot of new resorts opening up at the end of this year and in 2009 and that will force other resorts to be very competitive. In fact I will be back down in Mexico at the end of November for the grand opening of the new Azul Fives in the Riviera Maya.
I see some tour operators not only matching prices of the big three online travel websites Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz but beating their prices. This is great news for you since you know we can always be competitive in pricing and you get our expertise and service rather than spending hours muddling through the thousands of choices online. I think this trend will continue in 2009.
I believe 2009 will be a great year for travel bargains, more so than in years past. I know I will be traveling as much if not more in 2009. Not only because it is my job but it is my passion. I can only buy so much stuff but can’t put a price tag on all the experiences and memories I come home with when I travel.
I encourage everyone to get out there and experience not only what our great country has to offer but also what the world has to offer. You too will come home much richer in experiences. “Building Memories Through Travel” is not just our mantra it is our passion.
Wishing you and your family safe journeys.
David Rojahn, CTC
DTR Travel Inc.
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