A few days after Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, travellers are on the move again, resulting in increased hotel bookings.
According to data quoted in ABC News, travel booking site Orbitz has reported a 15 percent increase in hotel bookings in New York City this week as compared with last week. Similarly, Washington, D.C. recorded an increase in bookings by 68 percent.
When the hurricane hit the East Coast, nearly 20,000 flights were cancelled, but have since started operations. "Barring any unforeseen airport damage or operational issues like staff getting to the airport, road warriors should pretty much be back in business on Monday," Rick Seaney, CEO of Fare Compare told ABC News. "The trend in cancellations since October 29 is a hockey stick in the downward direction."
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Global Business Travel Association spokesperson Meghan Hennings agrees that Hurricane Sandy has been a damper in the tourism industry. “New York is a critical economic center and global travel hub, and we are extremely concerned about the ramifications of the city being essentially shut down for business travel,” Henning told USA Today. “While trips and meetings can be rescheduled, there is obviously no clear timetable for this to happen right now.”
Meanwhile, despite recent setbacks, the future of U.S. travel industry is bright.
The entire travel activity in the U.S. is expected to reach record-breaking levels in 2013, with an increase of 1.1 percent from this year’s levels, Mydesert.com reported quoting the U.S. Travel Association.
David Huether, senior vice-president of Research and Economics at the U.S. Travel Association terms this increase as good news for the industry, though the growth rate is slower than the past few years. Economic indicators such as a sluggish economy are one of the reasons for the downgrade in 2013, Huether believes.
“But I think the more important factor is that the growth rate of the past several years has been very strong,” Huether told Mydesert.com.