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As Americans take advantage of the rising dollar and book longer trips to Europe this summer the impact of a weaker Euro turns out to be both good and bad news for the region from a travel perspective.
U.S. travelers, as expected, seem comfortable spending more time in Europe since their money stretches a bit longer than it has recent years, if booking data based on travelers’ flight itineraries from Expedia and the Airlines Reporting Corp. are any indication.
The length of stay for economy class trips U.S. travelers booked to Europe increased 6% year-over-year for August 2015. The opposite is true for Asia-Pacific travelers flying both premium and economy class who cut back the length of their European trips by 13% for June, 9% for July and 6% for August compared to last year.
Expedia’s analysis points out the Chinese yuan is slightly stronger against the dollar versus the euro which helps explain why Chinese and perhaps other Asia-Pacific travelers plan on spending more time in the U.S. than Europe this summer. Trips booked by Asia-Pacific travelers for U.S. destinations are 14% longer year-over-year for August 2015.
European travelers are also aware of their waning currency and length of stays for that group saw more year-over-year growth for travel to Asia-Pacific (4% for economy class and 11% for premium class) versus the U.S. for January to April 2015. This group will also take the longest vacations in August traveling to both North America and Asia-Pacific with length of stays up 10% and 6% respectively year-over-year.
None of this data imply overall bookings are down this summer for European airline travel to the U.S. or for Asia-Pacific travel to Europe. Instead the currencies likely boosted travelers’ confidence to take longer trips where their money is worth more.
Domestic travel length of stay for these three regions is about the same as last year and airfares for the first half of 2015 declined about 2% on average across Europe and North America while ticket prices in Asia-Pacific declined 7%. Latin America was not part of the data set.
Length of Stay for Economy Class Travelers for Domestic Trips by Region, June-August 2015
|Region||Month||Average Length of Stay (Days)|
Source: Expedia and Airlines Reporting Corp.