Travel Trends Look Positive for 2011…Especially Vacation Rentals

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Seaside Vacations - Sandy Oasis

Ypartnership is a global marketing communications agency specializing in the travel, leisure, and entertainment industries. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, the agency is one of the most frequently quoted sources on emerging trends in travel and tourism.

Ypartnership chairman and CEO Peter Yesawich recently issued their detailed forecast for the travel industry in 2011, and they see good things for travel as a whole, and great things for vacation rentals specifically.

I won’t include all of the details of the report (you can find more here), but I’ll share a few highlights:

A. As of October of this year, fully 55 percent of all U.S. adults were planning at least one overnight trip primarily for leisure purposes during the first two calendar quarters of 2011, up slightly from the 53 percent who expressed this sentiment at the same point in time in 2009.

B. Although travel with one’s spouse or another adult will continue to represent the highest incidence of leisure travel (eight out of ten leisure travelers will take at least one such trip in the year ahead), family travel (adults who travel with children) will continue to grow because of the burgeoning popularity of multi-generational leisure travel: one third of all leisure travelers are now grandparents, and three out of ten took at least one vacation with their grandchildren last year. This incidence will continue to grow as the population continues to age.

C. Interest in condominium and vacation home rentals will demonstrate robust growth (almost half of all leisure travelers are now interested in a vacation home rental as an alternative to conventional lodging when on vacation), particularly among family travelers seeking more space and better value.

The travel industry plays a major role in the overall economy; it’s great to see positive forecasts for the upcoming year.

For an area that depends heavily on tourism, and has a preponderance of vacation rental homes, this is great news for the Outer Banks and the OBX real estate market.

August Housing Starts Beat Forecasts

Is the housing industry beginning to stabilize?  Housing starts in the U.S. increased more than forecast in August; this could be a positive signal of stabilization.

Builders broke ground on an annual rate of 598,000 homes in August.  This is up 10.5 percent over July (541,000 pace) and the most since April.  Economists were expecting August starts at a 550,000 pace, so this is a pleasant surprise this morning. 

In addition, building permits, a proxy of future activity, rose from a record low.   Building permits increased 1.8 percent to a 569,000 annual rate in August. Permits reached a record low of 559,000 in July.