Travelers Save Nearly 30% With Vacation Packages and Tours

NEW YORK, NY — (MARKET WIRE) — 10/25/2005 — Travelers can save an average of nearly 30% by buying a vacation package or tour. The nonprofit United States Tour Operators Association — whose members provide vacations for more than 10.7 million people annually — recently polled its members to find out how much money and time travelers save by buying a tour or a pre-arranged package, over making their own arrangements.

Survey Summary

Based on a one-week, high season vacation, survey findings reveal that buying a tour or vacation package saves consumers an average of:

– nearly 30% in price
– 18 hours worth of time planning
– 19 different transactions that a traveler would need to arrange both
prior and during the trip, from booking airfare and hotel to tipping bell
staff and making transfer arrangements

The dollar savings of using a tour operator has increased from an average of 15 – 20% in 1998, when USTOA last surveyed its membership to nearly 30% today.

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According to USTOA survey results, an escorted tour involves an average of 28 transactions. Transactions to arrange a one-week vacation package averaged 11. One USTOA member counted 300 transactions included in a comprehensive two-week escorted tour.

The “Hidden Benefits”: “Up to ten people may be involved in all aspects of planning and implementing a vacation package or tour. It’s like having your own work force to do all the leg work for you. You are also buying convenience and the expertise of professionals in their field who know where to go to find the best arrangements,” says Bob Whitley, USTOA president.

Travelers on tours and packages also benefit from: preferential treatment and space at events, the services provided by tour guides, and — in the case of student travel companies — chaperones.

“With a vacation package or a pre-planned tour, the traveler harnesses the benefit of the bulk buying power of tour operators, and the power of saving time, which in today’s highly competitive world means money,” adds Whitley.

The USTOA survey was based on a representative sampling of 42 companies.

For More Information

USTOA members have met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participating in the USTOA Travelers Assistance Program, which, among other things, requires each member to set aside up to $1 Million security to reimburse travelers in case of bankruptcy or default.

For more information, visit www.ustoa.com.

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