Hotwire Releases the First State of Summer Travel Report Featuring Pricing
Data, Insights and Deals for Affordable Summer Getaways
Data Indicates Hotel and Car Rental Prices are Up, while Airfare is Slightly
Down, and Florida could be this Summer's Deal Destination With Deep Discounts
Across the Board
SAN FRANCISCO, May 1, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO, May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With summer just around the corner,
Hotwire.com®, a leading discount travel site, today revealed its first-ever
State of Summer Travel Report. This forecast gives travelers expert insight on
recent trends for the upcoming period of peak demand, so consumers will feel
more empowered to take control of their vacations. The industry insiders at
Hotwire® have gathered key data for summer travel and have projected ways to
save on hotel, air and car rental bookings. Based on information collected
this year, Florida has emerged as one of the season's top deal destinations,
with affordable prices across the board.
"Summer trends are still developing, but we feel like this is the perfect time
for folks to get a sense of what to expect over the coming months. The State
of Summer Travel Report is a combination of insights and tips designed to help
budget-savvy travelers make the most of their summer vacations," said Clem
Bason, president of the Hotwire Group. "To save the most on travel this
summer, it really depends on where you're going and how you're planning to get
there. However, with a little flexibility and some insider travel information,
all of us should be able to book a summer trip and score some great savings at
the same time."
Current Hotel Outlook for Summer Travel Season
Pricing: Hotel prices on Hotwire currently are up four percent vs. summer
What to expect: According to recent conversations with hoteliers, the hotel
landscape this summer is a mixed bag of higher and lower demand, depending on
the market. As a result, many analysts and hotel managers are being a bit
cautious when predicting how much the travel industry will grow overall. That
said, with The Commerce Department reporting that the US economy continues to
rebound, this could lead to more leisure and business travel. More travel
would increase demand and would likely also raise prices. To promote booking
stability, hotels are rewarding guests who stay for longer than three nights
with improved discounts – so planning for a longer stay is always a good
choice when looking for value.
When to book: Analyzing historic trends, we see that the bulk of summer
bookings are generally made during the late spring and early summer months,
resulting in higher prices during that time period. So, the best times for
deal-seeking travelers to book hotels tends to be middle or late summer—late
July and throughout August. This is when prices generally begin to drop and
discount-hunters can score some incredible last-minute savings.
Deal Markets: Mid-sized cities tend to have lower rates because travelers do
not target them as main vacation destinations. Many of these spots are also
up-and-coming "sleeper" cities that have done a lot to bolster their offerings
for travelers, but their overall tourism – and as such, prices – hasn't caught
up yet. On the other hand, some popular vacation hubs, such as cities like
Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, can also serve up great deals when the timing is
right. In these two Floridian hot spots, we expect hotel occupancy to be down
this summer due to a reduction in business travel. As a result, hotels could
offset the dip in business visitors by trying to attract leisure travelers
with low prices. For example, you can get a hotel room for as low as $35 in
the Disney Main Gate – Celebration area in June.
Another hot destination for this summer is Washington, D.C., where some top
hotels are currently offering discounts of more than 50 percent as government
reductions are limiting visitation to the region.
Current Airfare Outlook for Summer Travel Season
Pricing: Domestic average ticket prices are currently up four percent vs.
What to expect: This year, it seems that many airlines are slowly increasing
capacity, which can be great news for travelers who like to journey a little
farther from home. With more seats being added pre-summer, airfares are
beginning to slow their increase and in some markets they have even come down.
If this trend continues, budget-conscious travelers could be able to find
better deals than in 2012. But, as we move closer to the summer months,
booking ahead will be a good strategy and timing purchases will be key for
folks looking to lock-in affordable flights.
When to book: Start off by targeting August travel dates. So far, it's
proving to be the most affordable month to fly, with the potential for even
bigger discounts versus last year. It's also particularly important to closely
monitor airfare prices when making important flight purchases. By knowing what
standard prices look like for your desired routes, you'll be able to recognize
price drops quickly. But don't wait too long to act; airfare can increase
Deal Markets: It may be surprising, but popular flight routes such as New York
(JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) are offering discounts upwards of 38 percent. Other
discounted routes include New York (JFK) to San Francisco (SFO) and Boston
(BOS) to Orlando (MCO), where roundtrip airfare can start as low as $193.
Current Car Rental Outlook for Summer Travel Season
Pricing: Car rental prices on Hotwire are currently up seven percent vs.
What to expect: We've seen car rental agencies in 2013 turn around their
recent trend towards discounting. It's believed that industry consolidation
and smaller fleets are what have led to price increases over the past year
leading into this year. Moreover, some of the larger rental agencies are
estimating that summer demand will be higher this year, which might push rates
up even more. While it's still too early to tell whether prices will increase
for the summer for certain, the coming weeks will determine what the car
rental market will look like for June and beyond. But even if deals become
harder to find, using a few tricks can net some savings.
When to book: If you're renting a car, think about traveling on a Friday and
Saturday as rental companies tend to offer the best deals over the weekend.
Also, if you're thinking about renting mid-week, try extending your trip to
cover the full week because you'll score a weekly discounted rate which is
considerably lower than daily rates.
Deal Markets: Currently, some of the larger price cuts are in beach
destinations like Florida's West Palm Beach (down 16 percent at $17 per day)
and Myrtle Beach (down 11 percent), but some of the major metropolises like
Chicago (12 percent) and New York (10 percent) are seeing good values as well.
Note: all sample rates reflect searches on 4/11/13 for bookings made 6/13/13 –
6/16/13. Average daily rates reflect bookings across star-categories (hotels)
or vehicle classes (cars) made on Hotwire U.S. points of sale between
1/1/13-3/15/13 for travel between 6/1/13-8/30/13. Air fare pricing and
capacity data is provided by Expedia, Inc. for the same booking and travel
periods stated above.
 The nation's gross domestic product, a measure of all goods and services
produced in the economy, advanced 2.5 percent in Q1 2013, according to the
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