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Many Americans Already Making Summer Travel Plans

March 27, 2006

Many Americans Already Making Summer Travel Plans
March 27, 2006 – The Travel Industry Association of America says that many Americans are already making their summer travel plans. According to January’s TIA/Synovate Voice of the Traveler Survey, 81 percent of Americans who are planning to travel this summer have already started thinking about plans for their longest summer trip.

According to TIA, nearly one out of three Americans who are planning to travel this summer are planning their longest summer trip earlier this year than they did last year (30 percent). This could be due to the fact that strong air and hotel demand has resulted in higher prices and fewer bargains. As a result, some travelers may be acting earlier in order to obtain the best price possible. However, the largest share of travelers (43 percent) is starting their planning the same time as they did last year. Fewer than one in ten travelers are planning their longest summer trip later this year compared to last year (9 percent).

Lodging accommodations at their destination have already been arranged by 21 percent of those Americans who are planning to travel this summer. Most of the rest are either exploring their options for where to stay (28 percent) or are still choosing the specific destination for their trip (32 percent). Nineteen percent have not thought about their intended summer trip at all. Women are more likely than men to have put some thought into these details of their longest summer trip (85 percent vs. 77 percent) by January of this year.

Of those planning to take a summer trip, 38 percent have already decided upon or booked their mode of transportation, while 13 percent have not thought about transportation for the trip. The rest (some 50 percent of those planning on taking a trip this summer) are still exploring their transportation options.

"The message for travel marketers is that many travelers are making summer travel destination choices very early in the year, and they may want to launch summer travel campaigns earlier this year than in the past," says Sheri Lambert, Senior Vice President of Synovate’s Travel & Leisure practice.

"But, despite the shift back to earlier planning and booking patterns evident in our survey and also reported by many travel companies, the majority of would-be travelers this summer have not yet selected their destination or booked transportation or lodging. Significant opportunities still remain for the travel industry to influence Americans’ travel choices for this summer," adds Dr. Suzanne Cook, Senior Vice President of Research at TIA.

Survey results are based on a nationally representative sample of 1,519 U.S. adults aged 18 and over. The survey was conducted online in January 2006. Results have a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points.

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