A new survey by Deloitte suggests more Americans are hitting the road or skies this Memorial Day weekend. The survey was conducted online in April and May, and polled 1,001 people.
Almost one-third (31%) of survey respondents plan to take a leisure trip during the Memorial Day weekend, up from the 24% who said they traveled a year ago during the same period. In addition, 17% expect to take a longer break than they did last year.
The firm says about 81% plans to travel by car and 19% by air, with nearly half planning to stay at a hotel and a third planning to crash with friends or relatives.
As far as summer travel, about 60% plan to take a trip between June 1 and Labor Day, flat compared with last year. But a quarter said they would spend more on summer trips than last year, with about half saying they would spend the same.
"We continue to see an uptick in leisure travel as consumer confidence in the economy and job security strengthens," said Adam Weissenberg, vice chairman and leader of the tourism, hospitality and leisure sector for Deloitte LLP. He says 31% of respondents said they postponed a vacation but are ready for one now, and 17% are considering traveling overseas this summer. Memorial Day is when people will 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."
The firm says people are using mobile devices to plan travel. Ten percent of respondents said they used a hotel application on a Web-enabled smartphone. Respondents who have used a hotel application have used it to: book a room, access their loyalty program account, view/modify/cancel an existing hotel room reservation, pay a hotel bill, check in and check out.
Weissenberg says more people will use mobile devices to plan trips as hotel companies create digital platforms serving smartphones and as smartphones gain in use. "Travel and hospitality companies that are on the edge of advancement in this arena may ultimately capture the consumer's attention and strengthen brand loyalty."
The firm says social media is playing a bigger role in travel planning, with half of survey respondents having used a computer or Web-enabled smartphone to research information about a hotel, and 16% having read a positive consumer-generated comment about a hotel/motel, which influenced their decision to book a room at that facility.