MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Today’s financial news in the United States has seen better days – stock markets closing at record lows, housing values dropping, education costs on the rise. However, contrary to these and other financial trends, the US dollar has gained in value for travelers interested in international travel.
According to Craig Beal, CEO of Minnesota-based travel consultancy Travel Beyond, American buying power is stronger today than it was before the recession. So why the shift? Beal cites three reasons:
– Exchange rates in many countries are showing favor to the US dollar
– Luxury travel companies are offering rarely seen incentives
– Airlines such as South African Airways are rolling back expensive fuel surcharges
“Exchange rates in just one year have allowed US travelers to take advantage of international travel like they’ve never been able to before,” said Beal. His team has witnessed various examples when comparing January 1, 2008 to January 1, 2009. Currency exchange rates have tipped back in favor of the US in several markets, with the dollar gaining 20-30 percent in buying power.
Another benefit to travelers – many of the world’s most renowned luxury travel brands are offering rare incentives. Companies such as Silversea Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruise Line, Lindblad Expeditions, and Wilderness Safaris are luring travelers with appealing offers. “These types of incentives are rarely seen. You just need to know where to look,” added Beal.
Finally, the dramatic drop in oil prices has positively impacted buying power. Over the past few years, airlines were charging passengers significant fuel surcharges. Today, many surcharges have been rolled back, reducing the cost of international flights. In some cases, it could save travelers upwards of US$400.
“Travel is an important aspect of many Americans’ lives,” said Beal. “It’s nice to see economic factors benefiting the American traveler. With these rarely seen values there is no better time to enjoy the rejuvenating power of travel.”