The Week in Travel Stats: Spotlight on Summer Travel

Now that we've passed the solstice and the official start of summer, travel industry groups are starting to take stock of the state of travel this season. From a record-breaking July Fourth to a look at what's hot in hotel amenities, here are the latest travel stats. 

Record 41.9 Million Americans to Travel This Fourth of July

This week AAA released its annual Independence Day Holiday Travel Forecast, and the numbers show that a record 41.9 million Americans are set to travel this holiday weekend.

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AAA projects 41.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day, the most since 2007 and a 0.7 percent increase from the 41.6 million people who traveled last year. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, July 1 to Sunday, July 5.

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Rising income, driven by a strong employment market, is prompting more Americans to take a holiday trip this year, AAA said. Despite recent seasonal increases, gas prices remain well below year-ago levels, which has helped boost Americans’ disposable income.

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Nearly 90 Percent of Vacation Rental Travelers Plan Summer Road Trip

With travel hitting record levels, the road trip remains a proud summer vacation tradition this year, according to a new survey by Wyndham Vacation Rentals. Nearly 90 percent of travelers booking vacation rentals are planning to hit the road this summer, and, on average, they will spend 12.3 hours driving to their destination. For the study Wyndham surveyed more than 11,000 vacation rental travelers.

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"A travel tradition that may have once been seen as a means to an end actually holds much more reverence among vacation rental travelers today," said Mary Lynn Clark, president, Wyndham Vacation Rentals North America. "They're a unique group who often travel with larger parties and appreciate spending as much time as they can with each other, whether it's on the road or vacationing together under one roof."

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35 Percent Rate Free Breakfast as Most Important Summer Travel Amenity

With so many guests on the road, it's worth taking a look at what they're looking for while they're out there. A new survey by Choice Hotels International has shown that free breakfast has edged out free Wi-Fi as the most important amenity Americans look for when choosing a hotel on their summer vacation. Free Wi-Fi held the top spot one year ago. 

Other key findings from the survey are:

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52 Percent of Millennials Accumulate Credit Card Debt While Traveling

Millennials, too, will be hitting the road this summer, and Experian has released a new study diving into the spending behavior of Millennial travelers while on vacation. Here's an inside look. 

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The majority of vacationers spend more money than expected when traveling (68 percent), often relying on credit cards to make up the difference, according to a new survey commissioned by Experian. Millennials rank even higher when it comes to risky vacation spending — one-third report they have not been saving up in advance of vacation, 72 percent say they spend more than expected when traveling, and 52 percent are strapped with credit card debt once the holiday ends.

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80 Percent of Travel Insurance Purchasers Buy Comprehensive Policy

InsureMyTrip has released a look at the top needs for summer travel insurance, plus the concerns of travelers hitting the road this season.

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To compile this research, a team of data scientists at InsureMyTrip analyzed online traffic and buying habits in order to identify trends. InsureMyTrip analyzed internal data, customer surveys and feedback from travel experts. 

InsureMyTrip estimates 80 percent of travel insurance consumers purchase a comprehensive policy.

Comprehensive travel insurance provides a variety of benefits including medical coverage, emergency travel services, baggage protection, and trip cancellation and interruption coverage.

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Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for the latest travel industry stats, trends and research. 

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