60% Plan To Fly To Vacation Spot; Some Mix Business, Pleasure

by , May 29, 2007, 5:00 AM
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While travelers will face peak season pricing this summer, year-over-year increases are not expected to be as dramatic as 2006, when airfares alone rose about 10%, according to Expedia.com's quarterly "Expedia Travel Trendwatch."

In addition, despite rising airline ticket prices, 60% of U.S. adults plan to fly as much this summer as they did last summer. The same survey reveals that 86% of U.S. adults who plan to vacation this summer are somewhat to very likely to consider an "off-the-beaten-path" destination. Finally, busy work schedules may be pushing employed adults to consider mixing business and leisure travel.

Key travel trends and tips reported in the current issue include:

It's getting crowded out there, but prices are holding firm. Despite some of the nation's largest airlines experiencing record loads this spring, year-over-year increases are not expected to be as dramatic as in 2006, when airfares alone rose 10%.

Popular destinations like New York City, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., Boston, Orlando and Vancouver are seeing ticket price reductions of 4 to 7%, likely due to capacity increases. On the flip side, Miami, New Orleans and Toronto are seeing increases of 5 to 8%, likely due to increased demand.

Internationally, Paris, Amsterdam and Athens are trending higher, with increases of 5% to 10%. High-volume hubs like London and Frankfurt are seeing decreases of 11% and 9%, respectively, as airlines have lowered fares to make these locations more attractive given the unfavorable exchange rate for American travelers.

Travelers are heading off the beaten path to beat peak-season crowds. According to an Expedia.com survey, 86% of U.S. adults who plan to vacation this summer are somewhat to very likely to consider an off-the-beaten-path destination, and 10% of all summer vacationers are already planning to travel to one.

Business travel is not just for business anymore. The same survey found that 83% of business travelers(4) would be somewhat to very likely to extend a business trip by a few days for leisure purposes. In fact, 27% said they would be very likely to do so. In addition, 57% said they plan to invite a friend or family member to join them on a future business trip.

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