Pasadena, CA (October 8, 2010) -– LeisureLink, Inc.™, the leading distribution and revenue management platform for specialty lodging suppliers, released its Vacation Lodging Demand Index for September, showing an unusually large monthly decline. Demand for vacation lodging fell 16% from August to September, significantly more than the 2% decline seen in the same period of 2009.
“We were surprised by the decline in demand we saw in September, and it creates concern for this winter’s ski season,” said Steve Reich, Senior Vice President of LeisureLink. “As we noted in our August update, conversion is also down sharply from 2009. It took 35% more consumer traffic to generate a booking in September 2010 than it did in 2009.”
“These data suggest that consumers are still booking, but are shopping aggressively first. Raw demand is up over 30% from 2009, but conversion has fallen. As a result, we see price pressure in all markets. Fully 40% of our bookings have been at a promotional rate,” said Reich.
“We are also closely monitoring early bookings for the ski season, and are noticing similar worrisome patterns. The absolute number of early bookings is comparable to prior years, but the conversion ratio has dropped there as well. The data suggest that consumers continue to shop extensively before they book. We believe consumers will continue to be cautious until there are real improvements in the economy” said Reich.
The LeisureLink Demand Index™ measures query volume across its Major Market Access (MMA) platform. The MMA provides distribution on major travel sites such as Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, GDS Marketplaces, and LeisureLink’s own ABetterStay.com marketplace. The queries on this network measure demand for Vacation Lodging directly from consumers, as well as from wholesale and travel agent channels. Taken as a whole, the index broadly measures total consumer demand for Vacation Lodging.
The LeisureLink Demand Index is derived from the more than 500 million consumer queries processed annually by LeisureLink. The Index includes properties in North America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. LeisureLink clients include vacation rentals, timeshare resorts, and boutique hotels, and their properties encompass ski, beach, and other destinations.
LeisureLink powers global distribution and demand for the specialty lodging industry. LeisureLink Major Market Access™ enables property management companies to market and distribute their vacation lodging products across thousands of travel Web sites, travel agents and other distribution channels. Over 1500 vacation rentals properties, timeshare resorts, condos, hotels and boutique resorts throughout North America and Europe build their bookings through LeisureLink.
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Senior Vice President, Sales