Pasadena, CA (June 9, 2010) – LeisureLink, Inc.™, the leading distribution and revenue management platform for specialty lodging suppliers, today updated the LeisureLink Demand Index™ through May 2010. The report, compiled monthly by LeisureLink, shows consumer demand for Vacation Lodging in mainstream online travel channels showed an unusual sharp decline in May due to the Gulf Coast Oil spill.
“The decline in Gulf Coast travel has been substantial enough to reverse the normal seasonal increase in national demand from April to May. This year, demand actually declined 19 percent, while in 2009 demand increased 18 percent from April to May. The impact of the oil spill is hard to overstate,” said Steve Reich, Senior Vice President of LeisureLink. These results echo data from other sources, such as the recent TripAdvisor report quoted in USA Today.
“Individual properties are finding ways to cope, however. Several of our clients in the Florida Panhandle are discounting aggressively and waiving cancellation fees to reassure guests. Forward-looking property managers see this as an opportunity to entice the guest who are travelling, and build their customer base for the future,” said Reich. In contrast, locations not offering discounts are feeling more of the adverse effects from the oil spill.
“Many Gulf Coast properties are experiencing an increase in last minute bookings, which shows us that travelers still want to travel to the Gulf, but are waiting to make sure the beaches are clear,” said Reich.
“Meanwhile, demand for Vacation Lodging in other markets still powers strong year over year growth,” Reich added. “The Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, and other coastal markets are all seeing strong demand, as are inland markets such as the Wisconsin Dells. Overall, consumer demand is still 67 percent higher than in May 2010, even with the unusual April-May decline.”
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