Despite industry reports of cancelled business trips, the re-booking of meetings and conventions to more cosmetically “acceptable” venues, and postponed vacations, the incidence of travel in America remains robust as revealed in the February (2009) travelhorizons(TM) survey conducted by Ypartnership and the U.S. Travel Association. As such, the real challenge facing the U.S. travel industry appears to be getting travelers to extend their length of stay.
Conducted quarterly, the most recent edition of this nationally representative survey of 2,270 U.S. adults revealed that almost two thirds (63 percent) are planning to take at least one overnight trip primarily for leisure purposes during the next six months (up from 60% during the same period in 2008). One out of six adults (16 percent) is planning to take at least one overnight trip primarily for business purposes during the next six months.
When asked how, if at all, they were planning to change their travel behavior in the months ahead respondents stated they were most likely to “book a package to save money” (87%) and “spend less overall” (84%). Two thirds are planning to “comparison shop online” and “take more day trips,” while fully half (51%) of all travelers “plan to stay fewer nights.”
“Assuming an average trip length of three nights for business and four nights for leisure, the negative impact of travelers’ intention to stay fewer nights on the lodging, cruise and attraction industries could be significant,” stated Peter C. Yesawich, chairman and CEO of Ypartnership of Orlando, Fla. “Therefore, industry marketing efforts should be directed at getting visitors and guests to extend their length of stay rather than encouraging them to take a trip they were planning to take anyway.”
Ypartnership is a worldwide advertising and public relations agency that specializes in serving travel, leisure and entertainment-industry clients and is co-author of the widely acclaimed National Travel MONITOR(SM) with Yankelovich, Inc. For more information, visit http://www.ypartnership.com.
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the $740 billion travel industry. U.S. Travel’s mission is to promote and facilitate increased travel to and within the United States. U.S. Travel is proud to be a partner in travel with American Express. For more information, visit http://www.ustravel.org.