SOURCE: ALTOUR

October 30, 2012 18:15 ET

Informed Travelers Are Booking Farther Away States ALTOUR Travel Index

Report Sees 2nd Consecutive Increase in Bookings of Sun/Surf/Sand Travel

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Oct 30, 2012) - ALTOUR'S October Travel Index is showing 2012 to be the year clients are venturing farther away thanks in part to doing a lot of their own research before booking with an ALTOUR agent. Sun/Surf/Sand packages are proving to be a popular buy as the luxury travel expert's bi-monthly survey of hundreds of leisure agents states an increase in bookings over last year at this time and for a second consecutive report.

Getting farther away from home is priority in 2012 for ALTOUR customers. 45.6% of ALTOUR agents are reporting that clients are choosing more exotic or distant locales for their vacation this year over 2011. Cost still remains a concern for some, but their customers are finding ways around that by "taking advantage of shoulder season costs" according to New York based ALTOUR agent Kathryn Neher. In their pursuit of passport stamps, New Zealand, Vietnam, and Cambodia are popular choices for travelers according to the October report.

The economy remains a factor when it comes to booking travel, but that hasn't stopped people from booking great deals. ALTOUR agents are reporting high demand for Sun/Surf/Sand travel packages with an increase of 4.3% over the last report. The packages deliver customers the bottom line savings before they leave town, which allows them "to spend some quality time with the family and relax," according to Las Vegas based ALTOUR agent Ena Langford.

Customers are finding research to be a double-edged sword. The October Travel Index shows a 3.1% increase in customers doing a lot of research before consulting with an ALTOUR agent over last Index. Customers find the rates and availability they see online can be outdated, but ALTOUR is always up to date with prices and availabilities. The positive impact of all the research is that customers are able to plot out the attractions and dining options giving them a clearer picture of what to expect when they touch down at their destination. ALTOUR agent in New York, Jane Nicosia, finds the extra research allows clients to "know exactly what they want" before booking and allows her "to alleviate a lot of the research" on her part.

With the increase of customers looking to explore farther corners of the traveling spectrum in 2012, ALTOUR is proving to be an ever-increasing resource for customers in the digital age by clearing up any misconceptions and delivering the tailor made trip customers are looking for.

ALTOUR is one of the world's leading independent travel organizations with a workforce of over 1,100 professionals in fifty-seven offices on three continents. With $1.3 billion turnover in 2011, ALTOUR is recognized as an international industry leader providing essential travel and service solutions the world over. The company's core remains its renowned business travel management capabilities, with divisions dedicated to such diverse fields as leisure travel, performance improvement, sports travel, entertainment travel, as well as meetings and event services. ALTOUR's principal divisions are complemented by flexible sister companies providing private air charter services and limousine services. ALTOUR has been named to the "CMI 25" as one of Corporate Meetings & Incentives' best in the industry. For more information please visit www.ALTOUR.com.