Both Leisure and Business Travel Expected to Grow, According to 2004 National Travel Monitor

The results of the Yesawich, Pepperdine Brown & Russell/Yankelovich Partners 2004 National Travel Monitor reveal that demand for both leisure and business travel services is likely to grow in the months ahead as the economy continues to improve and Americans finalize their vacation plans for the forthcoming summer season.

Highlights of the firm's annual National Leisure Travel Monitor include: -- 33% of leisure travelers expect to take more trips this year compared to last, while 38% expect to take the same, and 29% expect to take fewer; -- Among the 29% of leisure travelers expecting to take fewer trips, "current economic conditions make it difficult for me to travel" was the most frequently cited reason why. Fear of flying was cited by only 5%, and the "hassle factor" of travel was cited by only 6%; -- Confirming the financial strain felt by many U.S. households, only 18% of leisure travelers stated they "would be willing to trade an increase in pay for an increase in vacation time," down from 29% last year; -- Vacations continue to get shorter, with 59% of all vacations taken by Americans lasting four nights or less (including a Saturday night), up fully 5% over last year; -- Interest in international travel declined for the most popular destinations including Western Europe (-6%), the Caribbean (-3%), Canada (-4%) and the Far East (-3%); -- Interest in visiting domestic destinations increased significantly for Hawaii (+5%) and Nevada (+3%). Florida, California, New York and Colorado also ranked among the top five domestic destinations for American travelers among the twenty-two destinations tracked in the survey; -- 23% of active leisure travelers regularly use the services of a travel agent (the same percentage as last year). The comparable number for airline and hotel users is 36%; -- Utilization of the Internet continued to grow, with 63% of active leisure travelers now consulting the medium to plan vacations (up from 57% last year), and 45% actually using the medium to book reservations (up from 38% last year); -- The Internet now ranks as the information source used by the majority of Americans when planning a vacation (51%). Highlights of the firm's annual National Business Travel Monitor include: -- 33% of all active travelers took at least one business trip last year, essentially the same percentage who reported doing so in 2003 (but 5% fewer than reported doing so in 2002); -- 43% plan to take more trips in the year ahead, whereas 34% plan to take the same and 23% plan to take fewer trips compared to 2003; -- Fully 37% of business travelers now agree that "new technology will reduce my need to travel in the future," up from 33% last year; -- 37% of business travelers think the new airport security measures make business travel a big hassle, up from 32% last year; -- 49% of active business travelers try to earn more frequent flyer miles and/or hotel points when traveling on business, up from 42% last year; -- 46% of active business travelers regularly carry a laptop when traveling on business; -- Utilization of the Internet continued to grow, with 69% of active business travelers now consulting the medium to plan business trips (up from 65% last year), and 51% actually using the medium to book reservations, up from 48% last year; -- Only 14% of active business travelers have clicked on a banner ad to obtain information and/or prices from a travel services supplier online; -- The Internet now ranks as the information source used by the majority of business travelers when planning a business trip (54%).

The National Leisure Travel Monitor is an annual survey of the travel habits, preferences and intentions of 1,350 active leisure travelers. The National Business Travel Monitor is an annual survey of the travel habits, preferences and intentions of 1,200 active business travelers. Both are conducted by Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell in conjunction with Yankelovich Partners.

Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell is America's leading marketing, advertising and public relations agency specializing in serving travel industry clients. The company's offices in Orlando, New York, Honolulu, Los Angeles, London, Sao Paulo and Zurich serve clients worldwide.


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