US Travel Agency Sales Jump 187 Percent

Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) has released new data showing that air ticket sales from ARC-accredited travel agencies nearly tripled (187 percent) from January 2021 to January 2022.

Additionally, from December 2021 to January 2022, total net sales increased 17 percent. January’s total air ticket sales by accredited travel agencies totaled $3.6 billion.

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Total passenger trips taken by travelers rose by a full quarter in January compared to December. While domestic trips rose 21 percent, international trips rose 33 percent, showing a marked rise in interest, most likely due to countries around the world changing their entry requirements for international travelers.

Total trips taken in January increased 106 percent year over year, from 7.9 million last January to 16.4 million this January. International trips saw the greatest increase, more than doubling (120 percent) year over year to 5.4 million, while this January’s 11 million domestic trips nearly doubled from last year.

“January’s air travel data is encouraging. We expect continued recovery as more governments drop mandates and travel restrictions due to the omicron variant receding as well as a bounce in corporate ticketing,” said Steve Solomon, vice president of global sales, marketing, operations and customer experience at ARC. “As we look ahead to spring travel, some of the historically popular destinations are showing booking numbers closer to pre-pandemic years, and in some cases, exceeding those levels.”

However, there is one snag: ARC also found that airlines are now charging more than they were last January. It found the average U.S. round-trip ticket cost $335 last year, while the average this January is $409, a 22 percent increase.

While the data does portray a growing confidence in travel both domestically and internationally, it also shows that travel advisors remain strong confidence-boosters in the industry, able to navigate through changing rules and pandemic protocols to offer their clients a bit more security and knowledge than they would have if they planned their trips themselves.

To see more data from ARC, please click here.

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