International Travel to California Down


While headlines announced the accelerating decline in travelers coming to the U.S. this past week, the decline was blamed for increasing the economic crisis in the U.S., according to the Office of Travel and Tourism, U.S. Department of Commerce.


This is really no surprise, but the news brings some possible bummers to California cities such as Long Beach, where Jet Blue has announced it is considering pulling out of its flights to Long Beach Airport, just as a recent expansion of flights to San Jose and several major U.S. cities were introduced in  2009.


Beliving that more money will help kick-start the travel influx to the U.S., the U.S. Travel Association (formerly the Travel Industry Association) said in a statement that its organization was concerned that visitor numbers were down 8 percent from a year ago.


While the organization and other tourism agencies are urging more expenditures to try to compete internationally, the noose continues to tighten with more lay-offs on the way. This week newspapers such as the Atlanta Journal- Constitution will be tapping workers on the shoulders, attempting to complete a 30% staff lay-off by May. This follows the closure of many newspapers and end of print versions of the Christian Science Monitor.


Travel will continue to see decreases in hotel bookings, flights, and theme park profits in 2009, as the job cuts continue to come. Even at Disneyland in Anaheim, job cuts were recently announced.

Who's smiling? Unfortunately the traveler isn't currently seeing great deals as we enter the summer months. Hotels hoping to hold firm on their prices are banking on those who have work to continue to pay higher summer hotel rates. We saw deep cuts during the winter months, but those bargains have disappeared mostly and the discounts are modest today.


What can you expect for summer? Look for some value add-ons such as "stay three nights and get the fourth night free", or get a voucher for goods and services when you spend time visiting.

While early predictions for a turn around in 2009 were premature, we believe, its unlikely that travel will rebound for a few years, and profits to hotels will remain lackluster as overhead and expenses continue to rise.




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