Vacation travel on the consumer agenda


Car RadioAnother sign of an improving economy is the fact that the vast majority of Americans are going to spend as much or more time out of town on vacation this year as they did last, according to a new survey.

The survey comes from Choice Hotels International and was conducted by Harris Interactive.

87% are in the “the-same-or-more” group, and 42% plan at least two trips this summer. 84% say that at least one of the trips will be by car with an average total of 1,172 miles accumulated. 94% will be spending at least one night away from home, and 72% will spend at least one night in a hotel. And more than 33% will spend five or more days in a hotel.

“People are looking to travel again, plain and simple,” said Steve Joyce, president and CEO of Choice Hotels International Inc. “When people have jobs and feel secure in those jobs, they’re going to be more likely to travel for pleasure and that’s what we’re anticipating as the summer travel season kicks into gear.”

The key word remains the same among consumers who have taken their lumps and learned their lessons from the Great Recession. The word is value.

“The recession taught us an important lesson about looking for value and ways to stretch dollars—and that lesson applies to people’s vacations too,” added Joyce. “With consumer confidence on the rise and unemployment on the decline, people are more comfortable with traveling again but they’re doing so with a value mindset, and the free breakfast, free internet, and free parking at most of our hotels, as well as the best rate guarantee from Choice’s website, appeals to that value orientation.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Almost every result we’ve seen lately has been flat to up. Sure, it could be better, but at least sentiment isn’t getting worse.