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Neither higher fuel and hotel costs nor a weak U.S. dollar will keep Americans home this summer, according to AAA’s annual summer survey of its travel agents and auto counselors.
AAA travel agency bookings bear this out, with total sales up more than 5% through the first four months of 2005, including a more than 20% increase in international airline ticket sales.
“Despite generally higher prices for gasoline, hotels and other vacation costs, Americans continue to hit the road, rails, skies and sea,” said Sandra Hughes, AAA Travel vice president. “Our travel agents expect international travel to remain strong this summer as Americans find ways to go where they want to, when they want to.”
AAA’s annual summer travel survey of its travel agents shows 84% seeing overall summer bookings that are up (69%) or the same (15%) as last year, with an average increase of about 4%. The positive trend is nearly as strong for international travel and cruises.
Auto travel is expected to be about even with last year, with 27% of AAA’s auto counselors seeing increases and 46% seeing the same level as last year.
“Travelers tell our agents that they once again feel comfortable with their finances and their security traveling abroad, so they want to go,” said Hughes.