Road trip plans on the upswing


2009 was a year in which many consumers spent the Memorial Day weekend and most of the summer close to home. But a new survey from Deloitte suggests that this year, many are going to tank up the car and hit the road for some R&R.

Almost a third of consumers surveyed by Deloitte – 31% — say they are heading out of town this Memorial Day. That compares very favorably to last years economic-crisis-depressed total of 24%. 81% of that group is going by car, and 49% will be booking a hotel room (as opposed to staying with friends or relatives).

While the percentage planning a summer trip is flat at 59%, a quarter of those heading out of town plan to stay away longer and spend more money.

“We continue to see an uptick in leisure travel as consumer confidence in the economy and job security strengthens,” said Deloitte’s Adam Weissenberg.  “In total, 65% of respondents expect to take a vacation between Memorial Day and Labor Day. However, Memorial Day likely remains the time that people travel close to home and spend time with family and friends, while summer vacation is when they will likely book a hotel or motel and spend more money during the trip.”

“Furthermore, 31% of respondents said they postponed a vacation but are ready for one now, and 17% are considering traveling overseas this summer. Both of these responses help to illustrate that people are interested n traveling this summer,” Weissenberg added.

RBR-TVBR observation: This study has two main implications for broadcasters. First, if you are within driving distance of a destination location, it’s time to pump that location for some advertising dollars. Second, if you are at the location, make sure those driving in who may not know the local media market are aware of your station – local businesses that want to reach travelers will see you doing this and will make sure you are in their own advertising plans.