Overall, the travel market has struggled in the recent recession. Even business travel has been curtailed by a number of companies. But a glimmer of good news may be appearing for travel operators. The results of a recent Deloitte survey indicate that more consumers will at least maintain last year’s travel levels while 851618_wellness_chairs_another 25% plan to travel more in the next few months.

Here are the specific survey results which should cheer lodging operators:

  • Consumers who plan to travel and stay in lodging during the Thanksgiving holiday: 18%
  • Consumers who plan to travel and stay in lodging during the December through New Year’s time period: 22%
  • Consumers who plan to travel and staying in lodging between New Year’s through March: 32%

Lodging operators should take note of where these consumers are planning to travel during the next few months:

  • Warm-weather destinations: 38%
  • Cold-weather and winter activity destinations: 18%
  • Historic site or national park: 34%
  • Entertainment park or facility: 22:
  • Philanthropic or environmental work is the reason for the trip: 8%

Lodging operators have more ways than ever to communicate with travelers and these travelers are noticing. According to Deloitte, consumers are checking out the following sources:

  • Online consumer comments and reviews: 57%
  • Mobile devices to obtain information: 41%
  • Travel-company social network  page: 26%
  • Rewards or customer loyalty program: 40%

Adam Weissenberg, U.S. Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure leader, Deloitte LLP says, “[h]otel companies should continue focusing on driving demand and building long-term customer relationships with their guests through innovative marketing and loyalty programs. When business travel gets back on track, the industry will see further improvement leading to a more complete recovery.”

[Source: Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure…, Deloitte release, 11.17.09]