Good news for summer travel. Nearly one-in-five (18 percent) Americans plan to take more vacation trips during this summer than last summer but are keeping value for their travel dollars top of mind, according to a national survey conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Choice Hotels International among 2,199 U.S. adults in April.
According to the survey, a vast majority (87 percent) of Americans indicate that they plan to take more or about the same number of trips this summer compared to what they did last year. Further, over two-in-five (42 percent) Americans report that they plan to take two or more trips this summer.
Results also indicate that a vast majority (84 percent) of Americans who will take vacations plan to travel primarily by car for at least one of their trips and plan on racking up an average of 1,172 miles on their leisure travel this summer. Americans report that they plan to take an average of two trips away from home during the summer months.
And these aren’t just day trips that summer travelers are looking to take this year. Almost all (94 percent) of Americans traveling this summer plan to spend at least one night away from home and a majority (72 percent) expect to spend at least one night in a hotel. In fact, over one-third of American travelers plan to spend five nights or more in hotels during their summer vacations.
“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.”
So what are travelers looking for in making their summer travel plans this year? One word—value. Nine in ten Americans that plan to travel this summer and stay in a hotel indicate that getting a good value for their money is extremely important, very important or important in their hotel selection, the report notes.
“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,” Joyce says.
Americans who will travel vacation this summer rank free breakfast the highest among areas where hotels can demonstrate that they provide good value for the money (75 percent).
Among other areas of opportunity for hotels to provide value for the majority of summer travelers are best rate guarantees (62 percent), free parking (60 percent), and free high-speed Internet access (58 percent). Americans that plan to travel this summer feel that hotels (27 percent) deliver the greatest value for the money when compared to cruise lines (17 percent), rental cars (10 percent), airlines (9 percent), and gas stations (7 percent).
Choice Hotels International franchises more than 6,100 hotels, representing more than 495,000 rooms, in the United States and more than 30 other countries and territories.
As of March 31, 2012, more than 350 hotels were under construction, awaiting conversion or approved for development in the United States, representing more than 30,000 rooms.
The company's Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn brands serve guests worldwide.
In addition, via its Ascend Collection membership program, travelers in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean have upscale lodging options at historic, boutique and unique hotels.