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USTOA Reports Strong Advance Europe Bookings

February 11, 2005

USTOA Reports Strong Advance Europe Bookings
February 11, 2005 – According to a recent poll by USTOA, advance bookings of tours and vacation packages to countries using the Euro are strong despite the weak dollar. Sixty-five percent of USTOA members said bookings were stronger, while 25 percent said bookings were the same. Only 10 percent reported weaker bookings.

The poll indicated that, to date, USTOA members have not added significant surcharges to their prices, and some who set prices in 2004 or have negotiated more favorable rates with hotels, are holding their prices. However, this could change if the dollar drops dramatically.

"Since many tour operators will guarantee their prices when booked in advance, travelers who reserve and pay for their vacations early may be at a distinct advantage, especially if the dollar drops further," remarks USTOA president Bob Whitley. USTOA Chairman Brian Stack, President of CIE Tours International, echoes this, saying that the dollar should pose no problem if the trip is paid in advance.

The poll was based on a sampling of 20 companies, representing more than 40 of the top brands in travel to Europe and Euro countries.

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