Tripology’s latest Trend Report reveals travelers using travel agents have doubled their per trip travel budgets, leading us to ask whether travel affiliates are experiencing a similar upswing in their business.

Tripology, an interactive travel referral service that sells pre-qualified vacation leads posted by leisure travelers on its site to specialist travel agents, conducts a rather thorough analysis of the user-generated trip information that flows from the thousands of consumer leads they receive. Their findings are published in a bi-monthly report, Tripology Trend Report, with much of the analysis in the report reflecting changes in traveler preferences and needs from both a year-on-year and month-to-month basis.

Here’s a summary of the key findings from the report that was released in mid-August which covered this past May-June:

  • The “Top 5 Cities” requested (in descending order): Las Vegas, Orlando, Cancun, Honolulu and London
  • Rome now places 8th in its “Top 10″ most requested cities list, after not being ranked in this category in both 2008 and 2009
  • Despite the 11N1 influenza scare last spring, Cancun shows no abatement in demand
  • All four of its top requested regions – Western Europe, Caribbean, Asia and Africa – show increased demand in June 2009 vs. previous months, with the Caribbean claiming the highest demand from the end of March 2009 to the end of June 2009
  • Roughly 70% of traveler’s requests are for trips with a duration of fewer than 8 days

In addition to these data points, Tripology’s customer analysis also reveals that compared to the end of 2008, there has been a “steady increase in the average budget per trip submitted by consumers this spring and summer,” that the average minimum budget per trip was higher June 2009 than in any other month since July 2008, and that more importantly, from TravelDividends’ perspective, that the average trip budget almost doubled from approximately $3,100 to just under $6,000 per trip between May and June of this year.

Commenting on their findings, John T. Peters, President and CEO of Tripology said: “While we were surprised to see that travelers’ budgets have been increasing since the end of 2008 through summer 2009, there is no doubt they are certainly looking for travel deals; our trend report indicates that consumers are still looking to travel and even willing to spend a little more on their trips and vacations, but they are also seeking the help of live experts and knowledgeable travel specialists to help plan their trips and to weed through all the added value offerings and the incredible travel deals currently available.”

We have no reason to doubt Mr. Peters commentary, nor the data and trends gleaned from Tripology’s leisure customer leads…in fact, TravelDividends is very ecstatic about the traveler trends and statistics they’ve reported.

Rather, our questions are focused on the impact and implications of these leisure traveler trends on travel affiliates and those travel suppliers with travel affiliate programs.  So how ‘bout, travel affiliates and travel suppliers…Have you seen a similar spike-up in traveler spend in your business?  Or have your clients’ average trip cost stayed constant these last few months…or worse, dropped?  What about your ‘top 10′cities and destinations – how well do they track Tripology’s?  What else have you been seeing or hearing from your customers as to their changing needs or wants, and how have you adapted to those?

Drop us an email, or share your experiences by leaving a comment.  As always, we very much appreciate your feedback. Many thanks!

Note: Free copies of the Tripology Trend Report are available via email (press@tripology.com) or on Twitter direct message (@Tripology).

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