The price of airline tickets rose measurably in the first half of 2012, an industry group reports. Surprise: Travel is down.

NEW YORK — An industry group says the price of airline tickets rose 5.5 percent during the first half of this year.

The Airlines Reporting Corp., which handles financial settlements between the airlines and third parties who sell tickets, said that January-June airfares are now 13 percent higher than they were just two years ago.

Airlines have been cutting flights and raising fares in an effort to be more profitable and offset the cost of oil.

The number of passengers buying tickets through the 16,000 travel agents working with ARC rose slightly, 0.5 percent from the prior year. Travel, however, is down 1.6 percent compared with two years ago.