Experts Forecast U.S. Travel Industry to Recover in 2011

Experts forecast that the U.S. travel industry will recover in 2011. However, one drawback of the recovery would be higher airfare and hotel rates, according to AHN.

One indicator contributing to the anticipated rise in the travel industry is this year's lifting of travel restrictions by companies as their finances improve. Experts expect the trend to continue next year.

As a result, airlines are reimposing stricter contract terms and requirement, while corporate discounts are shrinking.

Industry insiders warned of a 2 to 6 percent hike in domestic air fare and 3 to 7 percent increase in international air fare.

More Americans are traveling this year according to a yearly Zagat survey released Monday. The survey found that more than 8,000 frequent fliers reported they averaged 17.4 air trips this year, up from 16.3 in 2009.

To meet the growing demand for seats, airlines have added capacity. Delta Airlines announced in October that it hiked its fourth-quarter capacity from 3 to 5 percent for domestic routes and 10 to 12 percent for international trips.

Another survey found that 24 percent of respondents intend to make more business trips in 2011 and another 56 percent to equal next year the number of trips they took this year. But 50 percent said they are now required to secure preapproval for their business trips and 25 percent opt to stay at lower cost hotels.

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