Study: Travel Intentions of Americans Improving

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The travel intentions of U.S. adults appear to be on the rise according to the latest travelhorizons survey, the nationally-representative survey that is co-authored quarterly by
Ypartnership and the U.S. Travel Association. Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of U.S. adults expect to take at least one trip for leisure purposes between August 2009 and January, 2010, up from 61 percent who expressed the same intention in July 2008. Assuming Americans act on their stated intention, this will translate into an estimated 142 million U.S. adults taking at least one overnight trip during the next six months.

"Americans' continued strong interest in travel and positive perceptions of its affordability are positive signs for the industry," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "The cost of travel remains at historic lows, giving consumers phenomenal options and the opportunity to stretch their dollars farther."

According to the national survey of 2,362 respondents conducted between July 21-28, 2009, the average number of overnight trips U.S. adults intend to take during the next six months increased to 2.8 from 2.6 in July 2008. And although travelers remain concerned about having sufficient money for travel,  the majority of adults who are planning to take a trip expect to accommodate this concern by  spending less on travel services this year compared to last. They also intend to comparison shop for deals, especially online.

The July Traveler Sentiment Index (a derivative of six variables measured in the quarterly survey) also reflected consumers' improved sentiment. After falling slightly between February and April 2009, the index rose to 92.1 (against a base of 100 in March 2007), and three points above the number recorded in April 2009 (89.1). All six of the index indicators displayed gains from the last calendar quarter with the exception of one: "money available for travel."

"These results reaffirm our belief that downward pressure on the average household budget continues to present the biggest challenge for the industry, not interest in or the desire to travel," said Peter C. Yesawich, chairman and CEO of Ypartnership. "And that's precisely why value remains king for U.S. travelers."

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