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Date: Thur, 19 Feb 2004
From: TInews Announcement <announce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
To: TInews Announcement <tiannounce@tinet.ita.doc.gov>
Subject: UK Year-End 2003 Bookings Grew! Travel Demand Predicted to Continue to Grow for the First Half of 2004

=== TINEWS ===================================

February 19, 2004

Contact: Office of Travel and Tourism Industries
E-mail: otti@trade.gov
Web: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov
Phone: (202) 482-0140, Fax: (202) 482-2887

UK Year-End 2003 Bookings Grew! Travel Demand Predicted to Continue to Grow for the First Half of 2004

The latest UK Travel Barometer program reported growth in bookings to the U.S. for fourth quarter 2003 and year-end 2003. The report also predicts strong growth in the first half of 2004.

The UK Travel Barometer is the most timely and reliable predictor for state and city travel demand for leisure travel to the United States. It is an invaluable tool for international destination marketing executives given the rapidly changing travel environment and the need for timely and reliable predictors.

The 2004 Travel Barometer Survey is a qualitative survey designed to collect input from active travel trade working in country to sell and promote travel to the United States. The goal is to provide a short-term forecast on travel demand to the U.S. and report on market conditions for travel from the UK to the United States. Results for this survey session were derived from surveying UK travel trade that promote and/or sell travel to the U.S. January 6 through January 29, 2004. Subscribe now to obtain detailed information for the remaining three quarters so you will learn more about the short-term outlook for leisure travel from the UK.

UK Highlights:

-Eight out of ten (81%) respondents indicated fourth quarter 2003 travel demand increased, with an average growth rate four to nine percent higher than a year ago.

-Approximately seven out of ten (69%) respondents indicated 2003 year-end (January - December) travel demand increased, with an average growth rate between four to nine percent higher than a year ago.

-State and City Bookings: Bookings for U.S. destinations included in the survey were all reported to have had an increase in bookings on average, compared to year-end 2002. First half of 2004: Travel demand for U.S. destinations included in the survey were all predicted to increase or be about the same compared to first quarter 2003. Several destinations were predicted to have a marked improvement from last year.

-Just over eight out of ten (82%) respondents indicated they were confident in recommending the U.S. as a holiday destination in 2004. Approximately six out of ten respondents (63%) indicated that UK consumers were confident or very confident in selecting the U.S. as a holiday destination in 2004, compared to 2003.

-The U.S. is a good value for the money in 2004! Nearly all respondents (94%) indicated that UK consumers consider the U.S. as a "good value for the money" in 2004, compared to 2003.

- Three quarters (75%) of the respondents predicted first and second quarter 2004 travel demand to be higher or much higher, compared to 2003. No respondents predicted demand to decrease.

-Respondents predicted higher demand for travel to major cities and amusement parks for first and second quarter 2004, compared to the same travel periods last year.

-The top two barriers for travel in the first half of 2004 were perceived safety of traveling to the U.S. and entrance procedures to visit the United States. The other top barriers listed were the level of promotion by U.S. destinations and businesses and competitive promotions from other long-haul destinations.

-An improved exchange rate and an increase in promotions by U.S. destinations and businesses were listed as the top factors most likely to increase travel demand to the U.S. in first and second quarter 2004.

-A strong majority of respondents predicted long-haul travel will increase for the first half of 2004, compared to 2003.

-Travel to Oceania and the Caribbean were the top competitive destinations for travel in first quarter 2004. Travel within Western Europe was the strongest competitive destination listed for second quarter 2004.

Report Format:
Reports are in an electronic web-based format and can only be accessed using a unique user name and password.

Subscriptions:
Core Subscription: $800 (USD)
Destination Subscription $2,500 (USD)
Customized Subscription $4,999 (USD)

Subscriptions are available at http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/recovery.html.

Subscriptions are available at any time. Some restrictions apply to the Destination and Core Subscriptions.

To add your destination or customized questions to the quarterly survey, or to learn how to make the travel Barometer work for you, contact Scott Johnson at (518) 963-4126 or via e-mail at scott@travelmi.com.

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Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce, Room 7025
Washington, D.C. 20230
(202) 482-0140, fax: (202) 482-2887
e-mail: otti@trade.gov

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