June 13, 2012 12:29 ET

Summer 2012 Sees a Boost in Bookings According to ALTOUR's Travel Index

Middle Class Customers Are Traveling More, While Luxury Travel Remains Steady

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Jun 13, 2012) - Summer travel is back according to the June ALTOUR INDEX. The luxury travel expert's bi-monthly survey of hundreds of leisure agents shows a strong increase in booking for the summer months, especially in the area of mass market cruise travel. Last report saw an increase in luxury and premium vacations, and those numbers remain strong for the second consecutive report. Agents are finding that with inexperienced travelers taking to the friendly skies this summer, airline policies/fees are the consumer's utmost concern.

The summer of 2012 is looking like a particularly strong summer for travel. This is evidenced by the June INDEX's 12% increase over last year in advanced travel booking within the next 30-90 days. Florida-based ALTOUR agent, Kelly Peck, sees the increase with her clients as a product of confidence in the economy, "It's summer time. People have been saving and holding back, and now they feel they can afford to travel."

Both the ocean and land-bound travelers are taking vacations this summer. ALTOUR agents have seen a 6% increase in high demand for mass-market vacations in 2012 over this time last year, while high demand in the luxury and premium products remains steady from last year at around 25% of all customers. New York-based ALTOUR agent, Liliane Nash, believes this increase is the result of, "low priced and all inclusive deals" being snatched up by the "low through high end" consumer in the cruise market. The report also finds a 6% increase in packaged sun/sand/surf products over last summer. Liliane finds the "low priced and all inclusive deals" being offered due to a "tremendous amount of competition" as a huge attraction to travelers.

ALTOUR agents are available 24/7 to handle the increased amount of travelers this summer, and whatever concerns they might have. The June INDEX reports 49% of our customer's number one concern being new airline policies/fees. This is an increase of 15% over the same time last year. "A lot of low cost carriers may look like a great deal, but they are charging carry on and checked baggage fees" that end up being "more money than the other airlines," says Minneapolis based ALTOUR agent Debbie Dougherty. With a large database of available flights at their disposal, ALTOUR's agents are able to clear up a potentially confusing situation "for people who don't travel very often," continues Debbie.

With great deals appealing to all consumer levels the forecast looks clear and sunny for leisure travel in the summer of 2012.

ALTOUR is one of the world's leading independent travel and services organizations with a workforce of over 1,100 professionals in fifty-seven offices on three continents. With a $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, though ALTOUR has 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 also been named to the "CMI 25" as one of Corporate Meetings & Incentives' best in the industry. For more information please visit