What’s 1.4 percent, really? A second look at the Thanksgiving forecast

snow at airportAfter a sharp drop last year, more Americans are expected to travel for the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday, although travel by air will decline. That’s how the play-it-straight AP played the just-released AAA Thanksgiving forecast.

How many more Americans? 1.4 percent, which is statistically insignificant. Oh well.

What is statistically significant is the number of air travelers who say they won’t fly — down 6.7 percent. (AAA wasn’t the first to forecast a drop. The Air Transport Association predicted a more hopeful 4 percent decline a few weeks ago.

But do any of these numbers mean anything to you?
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Bad news, bargain-hounds: “The worst appears to be over” for lodging industry

ruinIt’s good news for them, bad news for us. Sorta.

The long drop in hotel rates appears to be nearing the bottom, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Its lodging analysts believe the economic recovery will lift demand for hotel rooms in 2010.

But hotel rates? That’s another story. Average daily rates in 2010 are expected to remain below 2009 levels, even with the projected bounce. (Can you say Year of the Deal?)
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Toldja! New forecast confirms 2010 will be Year of the Deal

ishot-1I couldn’t resist my best Nikki Finke impression, but didn’t I say 2010 was going to be the Year of the Deal for travelers? And now even the forecasts are starting to agree with me.

Just yesterday, my friends at the National Business Travel Association released their 2010 preview. Now granted, this is specific to business travel, so if anything, it’s a conservative forecast. The deals for leisure travelers may be even better.
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