Leisure travel in on the rise, according to industry reports, but Americans remain conscious of costs.
Leisure travel is expected to increase this summer, but Americans remain conscious of costs, according to industry surveys that show the vast majority of Americans plan to take some sort of vacation this summer.
The season is expected to start with a notable pickup in travel over the Memorial Day weekend. More than 30 percent of participants in a recent Deloitte survey say they plan on leisure travel over the three-day weekend, compared to 24 percent who say they took a trip over Memorial Day weekend last year.
“As consumers appear to feel more confident about the economy and the job market, we could see a steady uptick year-over-year in leisure travel during the summer months,” said Adam Weissenberg, vice chairman of Deloitte LLP, in a statement released earlier this week. The online poll of 1,000 consumers was conducted by Deloitte in mid-April. “However,” said Weissenberg, travelers also understand the value of the dollar in this economy and may expect more from travel and hospitality companies.”
Value-conscious consumers will be seeking added amenities, such as complimentary breakfast, free wireless access and free parking, reports Deloitte. Travelers will also attempt to circumvent airline fees by using carry-on luggage more often.
About 71 percent of Americans engaged in leisure travel in 2011, well below the peak of 78 percent reached in 2007, according to the April 2012 quarterly report by the U.S. Travel Association, but the association’s April Travel Sentiment Index has risen to 93.5, a year-over-year increase of nearly 10 points. The statistic “bodes well” for domestic travel in the next six months, said the association, noting that measures of “interest in travel” are at a four-year high and “personal finances available for travel” are at a five-year high.
Americans expressed the need to get away from their daily routines, but think about work while they’re traveling, according to the third annual Vacation Attitude Survey released last week by Springhill Suites. More than half the men and 41 percent of the women say they will check work email during their trip – despite the fact that respondents were most likely to identify their bosses and coworkers as the person they most needed a break from.
Affordability appears to remain an issue for leisure travel plans, according to a Millionaire Corner survey conducted in April. Few Millionaires (14 percent) said they have postponed or scaled back on leisure travel over the past two years. In contrast, well over half (57 percent) of Americans with less than $100,000 to invest said financial concerns have prompted them to put off or cut back on leisure travel.