|By Ted Jackovics, Tampa Tribune,
Fla.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 26, 2009--TAMPA -- Hotel rates and airfares continue to plunge, with hotels.com listing a dozen hotels in Orlando offering rates between $23.40 and $29.99 for Saturday night and 18 more with prices from $31.99 to $48.39.
In Tampa, Hotwire.com reported that August rates were 21 percent lower than a year ago, with four-star rated hotel prices as low as $64.
Airfares remain low, although the recent surge in crude oil prices could catch up with airlines suffering from a decline in business and leisure consumer demand brought on by the recession.
The most recent American Express Business Travel Monitor, released Tuesday, shows the average domestic airfare for the second quarter ended June 30 was $212, the lowest second quarter average since 2005 when it was $218.
The Air Transport Association reported last week that the average price to fly one mile in July was down 18 percent compared with a year ago, an improvement over the 21 percent year-over-year decline in June. Yet the number of passengers dropped 4 percent in July compared with a year ago.
"While the modest improvement in demand from June to July would normally be cause for cautious optimism, the fact is that the number of air travelers continues to fall despite double-digit declines in fares," ATA President and Chief Executive James C. May says in a written statement.
Reporter Ted Jackovics can be reached at (813) 259-7817.
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