This year's Travel Industry Survey indicates that a considerable year-over-year shift took place in the proportion of domestic vs. international tours and packages sold by the largest traditional agencies ($10 million or more in annual revenue). The survey found that the number of domestic packages sold jumped from 37% to 44% in that category, an increase that comes after the number of international packages sold had stood fairly steady since 2012 at around 63% of all packages sold. Contributing editor Jeri Clausing asked Vanessa Parrish, channel marketing manager for the Globus family of brands, what they were seeing in package sales. With international sales on the rise, Parrish hinted that next year's results might be different.
Q: Are you experiencing a rise in domestic package sales?
A: We are seeing strong trends domestically but also very strong sales internationally. Overall, touring worldwide is on the rise for the Globus family of brands.
Q: What do you think is driving the rise in domestic packages? And are there any domestic destinations that are especially popular?
A: In 2016, we saw a substantial increase in our North American Globus & Cosmos touring product, especially our National Park Tours, with both brands seeing double-digit growth. This growth domestically was likely caused in part by world events that happened in Europe and travelers wanting to stay closer to home.
The National Park Service also celebrated its 100th anniversary, driving additional interest in National Park tours.
In addition, our Canadian Globus & Cosmos tours, especially Western Canada, have seen strong double-digit growth due to the favorable exchange rate for U.S. travelers.
Q: What trends do you see in the year ahead?
A: In 2017, Globus saw both domestic and international touring rise. Globus and Cosmos are enjoying double-digit growth over 2016 in all destinations except South America. As Zika concerns diminish, we're seeing a comeback for South America for 2018. In Europe, we're seeing especially strong growth in destinations like Britain/Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Eastern Europe, Greece and Scandinavia/Iceland.
And, speaking of 2018, early sales are through the roof, up more than 30% compared with this time last year, which foretells a strong 2018, with the strongest growth being international tours.