Despite an abundance of negative economic news on the stock market, unemployment and consumer confidence, travel indicators remain surprisingly strong, according to the California Travel & Tourism Commission.
- In California, the number of hotel rooms sold in July was up 6% compared to last year- and with higher room rates (+7 percent). Year to date, rooms sold are up about 6.1%.
- And international travel to California has been very strong, with overseas travel up 14 percent in the month of May, and YTD arrivals up 16 percent. These increases have been fueled by strong exchange rates worldwide, which continued to grow in June and July.
- California jobs in the leisure & hospitality sector in July were up 2.6 percent vs. last year – outpacing job increases in the state overall- up 1.4 percent
- The traveler sentiment index- a national assessment of domestic travelers outlook on travel- increased slightly between April and July, indicating continued interest in leisure travel in the short term.
With travel prices rising at a higher rate than inflation overall – primarily due to gas costs – and continuing weakness in the economy, however, the optimism relayed by these data are subject to change at any time.