Travel Slump Tied to Shorter School Schedule

Travel agent Duke Ah Moo
Travel agent Duke Ah Moo

HONOLULU (KHNL) - An earlier start to the school year isn't just making the kids groan. It's also a big bummer for travel agents. Shortened summer breaks mean smaller profit margins for everyone involved in the tourism industry.

Roosevelt High is just one of the 251 public schools that are wrapping up their first full week of classes. Starting school in mid-July might be easier for parents, but for travel agents, it's definitely harder. Typically, summer travel represents about 40% of an agency's yearly profits.

Travel agent Duke Ah Moo, a vice president at Pleasant Travel, says "It's really caught us off guard this year. Normally the demand for travel during peak summer season goes all the way though Labor Day in September. This year we've seen that cut short."

Agencies say they'll be prepared for next year with some family friendly specials like kids eat free, kids stay free, but they hope it'll make up for this summer's slump. The next big break for public schools is a week off in October.

Ah Moo says this might work to your advantage. Instead of having to travel during summer, when prices are nearly double, maybe you can save money by traveling during what was a traditionally off peak period.