Summer Travel Plans on the Rise

May 28, 2010

An increasing number of consumers plan to engage in leisure travel this Memorial Day weekend and summer, according to a new survey from Deloitte.

Consumers Remember Memorial Day Travel Option
Almost one-third of respondents to the Deloitte survey (31%) said they will take a trip this Memorial Day long weekend (May 29-31, 2010). That is up from 24% who said they would travel for Memorial Day last year. In addition, 17% of consumers surveyed expect to take a longer break for Memorial Day this year than they did last year.

As far as means of Memorial Day travel, car is the clearly preferred choice, with 81% of those planning a Memorial Day trip intending to travel by auto. The other 19% will travel by air. Nearly half (49%) of those traveling also plan to stay at a hotel and almost one-third (30%) expect to stay with friends or relatives.

Summer Travel Plans Stay Flat
As for summer travel, nearly six out of 10 (59%) survey respondents plan to take a trip between June 1 and Labor Day, which is flat compared with the share of respondents who said they made trips a year ago. The survey reveals that more than one-quarter (26%) expect to spend more money on their summer trips than they spent last year, while nearly half (49%) plan to spend the same amount.

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In addition, 31% of respondents postponed a vacation earlier this year but are ready for one this summer, and 17% plan to take an overseas summer vacation.

Web, Mobile Devices and Social Media Play Key Role
Travelers are beginning to take advantage of internet and mobile devices and social media as tools to help plan and take summer vacations. One in ten (10% respondents have used a hotel application on a web-enabled smartphone. Respondents who have used a hotel application have used it for activities including booking a room, accessing a loyalty program account, viewing/modifying/canceling an existing hotel room reservation, paying a hotel bill, check-in and check-out.

The internet continues to play an important role in travelers’ decision-making processes and social media has evolved into a valuable resource, as well. One in two (50%) respondents have used a computer or web-enabled smartphone to research information online about a hotel, while almost half (47%) have researched information online about a flight. Sixteen percent of respondents have read a positive consumer-generated comment about a hotel/motel, which influenced their decision to book a room at that facility, and 13% have used a social media site to research or plan a trip.

Americans Make Vacation Plans
Summer travel is a priority for the majority of Americans despite the economic downturn, according to the May 2010 American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.

Tracker data indicates that more than half (51%) of the general US population is planning a vacation this summer. Affluents (73%) and young professionals (83%) are even more likely to take a vacation. Those surveyed plan to spend an average of $1,000 per person on summer travel, indicating that the average family of four expects to spend about $4,000 on their summer vacation. That figure jumps to around $4,800 among young professionals and nearly $6,400 among affluents.

About the Data: The survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted online by an independent research company between April 27 and May 5, 2010. The survey polled a nationally representative sample of 1,001 consumers.

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