Improving Business Trends in the Travel Agency Industry
Part of the American Society of Travel Agents’ (ASTA) wide-ranging benchmark reporting program, the upcoming annual ASTA Financial Benchmarking report provides a bountiful amount of data and information on the financial trends of ASTA agency members including revenue, sales, transactions, number of clients, profit and so on. This information will be very beneficial to current and prospective ASTA members, consortia, franchise companies, host agencies and supplier partners alike.
2016 vs. 2015 vs. 2014 Performance Comparisons
ASTA agency members continue to thrive in the improved business environment post-recession. In full year 2015, over eight in ten (81%) of agency survey respondents indicated that their revenues either increased (64%) or stayed the same (17%) when comparing to their 2014 revenues. Similar positive results are also shown in increases in sales (82%), transactions (80%) and number of clients (85%).
For the first half of 2016, ASTA agency members’ financial performance remained strong with three quarters (74%) of members indicating their revenues increasing or maintaining the same when comparing to the first half of 2015 results. Similar results also showed in sales (76%), transactions (70%) and number of clients (78%). ASTA will continue to track the full year of 2016 financial results as data becomes available.
2016 vs. 2015 vs. 2014 Performance Comparisons by Segment
When looking at individual travel segments that agencies sold in 2015, more than half reported that they observed increased sales in cruise (56%), FIT (56%) and travel insurance (53%), followed by tour groups (48%), hotel (45%) and air (40%) when comparing to their 2014 results.
Going into 2016, similar positive sales trends remained. However, seasonality and isolated geopolitical incidents might have had a certain degree of short-term impact on regional travel that could have caused some shifts in certain travel segments.
Net Profit Results
In terms of overall profitability, over eight in ten (84%) ASTA agencies either realized a profit or broke even in 2015, with 70% of them realizing a profit, according to the 2016 ASTA Agency Profile report.
The percentage of agencies that reported a profit continues to rise since 2011, indicating improved business trends post-recession. Conversely, the share of those agencies that operated at a loss or were unsure about profit/loss condition has been gradually decreasing over the past five years.
Getting a sense of how the travel agency is performing in our ever-changing industry is an example of the critical business intelligence and business development insights ASTA’s research program provides.
Take a look at what we have to offer, which ranges from labor issues to GDS usage to financial benchmarking, at ASTA.org/Publications. And don’t forget that ASTA membership includes preferential pricing for these reports, and in some cases complimentary access. Support your national trade association and join ASTA today!
Kevin serves as Director of Research and Industry Affairs at ASTA since 2015. He is responsible for supporting the development and execution of ASTA’s wide-ranging government and industry affairs and research agenda for the travel agency industry and the broader travel and tourism industry as well as association issues generally. He also assists in monitoring industry issues and trends that affect travel agency businesses and in representing association members to suppliers and other industry groups through ASTA’s Research Family program and the information from ASTA’s benchmarking series reports.
Kevin brings to ASTA over 20 years of professional experience with over 12 years in the travel and tourism industry, including at the U.S. Travel Association and Choice Hotels International, where he frequently shared research insights and information at conferences and seminars with his expertise in managing quantitative and qualitative research studies, projects and programs.
Kevin earned his M.B.A. from the George Washington University and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).