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Two-Thirds of Americans Plan a Summer Vacation However, economic conditions continue to impact travel plans

NEW YORK, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- While economic news may still not be great, the hallmark of the season – the summer vacation, may not be completely in jeopardy. Two-thirds (66%) of Americans are planning to take a summer vacation this year.  This closely mirrors data from 2009, when 65% were planning a summer vacation.

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These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,503 adults surveyed online between May 10 and 17, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

In addition, roughly one-fifth (19%) of Americans are planning to take at least one business trip this summer, a slight reduction from 2009 when 23% planned one or more business trips.

While they may be on the move, many travelers say that current economic conditions continue to alter how they travel:

  • Almost one-quarter (22%) plan to decrease the number of leisure trips they will make by car;
  • Nearly three out of ten (28%) say they'll take fewer plane trips for leisure;
  • One-quarter (25%) will cut their number of weekend trips;
  • Slightly over one-quarter (27%) will reduce the duration of their vacations; and,
  • About one-third (32%) plan to reduce the amount of money they will spend on vacation.

Spending on vacations

Those planning at least one trip this summer will spend an average of $1,627 on travel in the coming months. However, those planning to reduce the amount of money they spend this summer aren't necessarily sacrificing their vacations. More specifically:

  • More than half are hoping to economize their leisure travel this summer by finding less expensive activities (56%) or meal options (54%)
  • Slightly less than half will seek out less expensive accommodations (46%) or will vacation closer to home (46%)
  • About two in five are also hoping to reduce travel costs by staying with family and friends instead of at a hotel (41%) or by driving instead of flying (42%).

Some Greenshoots

While the data shows that the economy continues to impact summer travel plans, when compared to the same survey conducted this time in 2009, there are some positive glimmers of recovery:

  • This year, 36% report that they are less likely to travel over the summer due to the economy – a larger percentage of consumers (41%) were less likely to travel last summer.
  • In 2010, fewer consumers report that they plan to cut back on the number of trips they will take, the duration of their trips, and the amount they will spend.  

So What?

According to Allison Powell, Research Director of Harris Interactive's Travel and Tourism practice: "While the economy is clearly continuing to change the way consumers vacation, they are not willing to postpone their summer vacation plans altogether.  This is great news for those in the travel industry; it is important to be especially mindful of consumers who are looking to cut costs – offering deals to consumers will be especially important this summer.  The glimmer of recovery is also promising – consumers will vacation, the economy will not change this, and things are beginning to improve."

However, Powell continues that "the decision recently made by many major airlines to add surcharges on flights over the summer may not bode well for them given these price-conscious consumers.  Surcharges range from $10 to $30 per ticket, depending on the day of travel.  Given how quickly this can add up for a family vacation, it will be interesting to see how this will impact actual travel behavior."

TABLE 1

LIKELIHOOD TO TRAVEL IN NEXT 4 MONTHS

"How does your outlook on the U.S. economy impact your likelihood to travel within the next 4 months (May-August?)"

Base: All adults



2009

2010

%

%

I am much more likely to travel

3

3

I am somewhat more likely to travel

4

3

No impact on my likelihood to travel

40

46

I am somewhat less likely to travel

23

20

I am much less likely to travel

18

16

I have no plans to travel

12

13

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding.



TABLE 2

LEISURE TRIPS PLANNED

"How many leisure and/or business trips do you anticipate taking over the next four months (May – August)?"

Percent planning "leisure trips"

Base: All adults



Total

2009

Total

2010

%

%

0 Trips

35

34

1-2 Trips

48

47

3-4 Trips

15*

13

5+ Trips

2*

6

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding;

*In 2009 the nets were taken of 3-5 trips and 6+ trips, respectively.




TABLE 3

BUSINESS TRIPS PLANNED

"How many leisure and/or business trips do you anticipate taking over the next four months (May – August)?"

Percent planning "business trips"

Base: All adults



Total

2009

Total

2010

%

%

0 Trips

77

81

1-2 Trips

9*

13

3-4 Trips

11*

3

5+ Trips

3*

3

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding;

*In 2009 the nets were taken of 1 trip, 2-5 trips, and 6+ trips, respectively.




TABLE 4

CHANGE IN NUMBER AND DURATION OF LEISURE TRIPS

"Compared to your travel last summer (May – August 2009), how will your outlook on the U.S. economy impact the leisure travel you anticipate taking this summer (May – August 2010)?"

Base: Adults who traveled last summer




Increase

Remain the Same

Decrease

Not Applicable

%

%

%

%

Number of leisure trips by car

2009

15

50

29

6

2010

16

59

22

3

Number of weekend trips

2009

12

44

34

10

2010

14

53

25

8

Amount spent on leisure trips

2009

10

40

46

4

2010

12

54

32

2

Duration of leisure trips

2009

10

51

35

4

2010

9

60

27

3

Number of leisure trips by plane

2009

9

29

33

30

2010

7

36

28

30

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding




TABLE 5

ANTICIPATED TRAVEL (LEISURE + BUSINESS) SPEND

"Approximately how much do you anticipate you will spend in total (leisure travel/business travel) in the next four months (May – August)? Please consider spending to include transportation, accommodations, food/beverage, activities, etc. Please include spending on items that you will personally pay for (or your company will pay for)."

Base: Plan to travel this summer



Total

%

$0—$100

7

$101—$500

34

$501—$750

8

$751—$1,000

17

More than $1,000

34

Mean

$1,627

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding.



TABLE 6

HOW LEISURE SPEND WILL BE REDUCED

"Which of the following actions, if any, do you anticipate you will take in order to reduce your leisure travel spending within the next 12 months?"

Base: Plan on decreasing spending



Total

2009

Total

2010

%

%

Find less expensive activities

60


56

Find less expensive meal options

60

54

Find less expensive accommodations

52

46

Reduce travel expenses by vacationing closer to home

50

46

Reduce travel expenses by driving instead of flying

39

42

Stay with friends or family instead of a hotel

39

41

Cook my own meals while on vacation instead of dining out

39

36

Share costs with other family members/friends

31

33

Take a "staycation" (staying at home during my vacation) instead of traveling somewhere else)

32

23

Reduce travel expenses by taking a bus or a train

5

6

"Naycation" – I will not take any leisure trips in the next 12 months

9

15

None of these

3

3




Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between May 10 and 17, 2010 among 2,503 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

J38300

Q856, 860, 870, 881, 885

The Harris Poll® #79, June 22, 2010

By Allison Powell, Research Director, Travel and Tourism Research Group, Harris Interactive

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

Press Contact:

Corporate Communications

Harris Interactive

212-539-9600

press@harrisinteractive.net



SOURCE Harris Interactive



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