Consumers Indicate Leisure Traffic for Airlines and Hotels Will Experience Boost this Summer, Says New Accenture Research

Despite Sluggish Industry Performance, Length of Vacations to Equal Summer 2001; More Than Half Will Book Travel Electronically

ATLANTA; May 16, 2002 Leisure travelers will spend as many days on the road this summer as they did in summer 2001, according to new Accenture research. Despite recent world and economic events, 70 percent of consumers (versus 71 percent last year) plan to take a vacation, and the vast majority (79 percent) will travel as much as or more than they did last summer.

The research also showed that almost one-half of consumers (44 percent) will travel by air – an increase of 26 percent over last year. Additionally, more than one-third of the survey respondents (38 percent) plan to visit mid-priced chain hotels – an increase of 30 percent over last year.

A large portion of leisure travelers cited location and price as the most important factors when selecting accommodations -- 40 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

“Traffic is definitely rebounding, but the industry will continue to face the challenge of creating long-term cost efficiencies while simultaneously targeting consumers with the right services and amenities,” said Ron Stewart, global managing partner, Accenture Travel Services industry group.

To return to profitability and enhance brand loyalty both airlines and hotels must change cost structures to reap a higher yield per traveler, a solution that can also lead to deeper customer insights and service improvements as well as more effective alignment of revenue management, Stewart added.

Online Bookings Surge
The research further revealed that more than one-half (63 percent) of consumers will book their air travel electronically, i.e., through an online travel service or an airline’s Web site. Fewer than one-quarter (22 percent) will use a travel agent.

“Airlines are motivated to claim a bigger slice of the online action,” commented Stewart. “Typical overhead for an online purchase from an airline’s own website runs around $3, while distribution fees to third-party sites and ‘brick-and-mortar’ travel agencies can cost airlines as much as $35 a ticket. “

Additionally, the research reported:

The survey, fielded by Accenture, was conducted among more than 950 consumers in the U.S.

About Accenture
Accenture is the world’s leading management consulting and technology services organization. Through its network of businesses approach – in which the company enhances its consulting and outsourcing expertise through alliances, affiliated companies and other capabilities – Accenture delivers innovations that help clients across all industries quickly realize their visions. With more than 75,000 people in 47 countries, the company generated net revenues of $11.44 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2001. Its home page is