Despite rising prices, Americans will be traveling in record numbers this summer, with Florida, California, Nevada and New York the top preferred destinations, according to a report from the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA).
TIA also anticipates RV travel to remain very strong as 17% of summer travelers plan to use an RV, continuing a trend of double digit increases year after year since 9/11.
“Every sector of the travel industry will be up, up, up,” according to Suzanne Cook, TIA senior vice president of research. “The momentum in travel recovery that began in earnest last year is continuing into the summer with a 2.3% increase in leisure travel. That means that Americans will take 328 million leisure person-trips during June, July and August 2005.” A person-trip is defined as one person traveling 50-plus miles, one-way, away from home.
While travel prices are up in the first three months of 2005, this will not discourage Americans from taking trips, but they will be looking for deals and ways to economize without giving up their summer vacations.
“Planes will be full this summer as Americans return to the skies,” Cook said. Air travel continues its strong recovery, with volume expected to increase 4% this summer
While the number of trips is up, the number of nights away from home continues to decline from 7.6 nights last summer to 7 nights this summer on their longest leisure trip.
“Again, what we see here is a trend to take more trips during the year of shorter duration. So while the spending per trip is down, the number of trips is up,” Cook said.
Three out of four Americans plan to visit friends and relatives this summer, two thirds will be at a beach and/or visiting small towns and rural areas. Over a third will be traveling with children.
Sixteen percent intend to enjoy an all-inclusive resort while 16% plan on traveling outside the U.S. and 10% say they plan to take a cruise.