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Leisure Travel on the Rise: Deloitte Survey
added: 2010-05-25

As summer approaches, temperatures are not the only thing rising. Consumers also appear to be warming up to vacations and road trips, according to a new Deloitte survey. Almost one-third (31 percent) of survey respondents plan to take a leisure trip during the Memorial Day weekend, up from the 24 percent who said they traveled a year ago during the same period. In addition, 17 percent of consumers surveyed expect to take a longer break than they did last year.

Highways may be busy during the Memorial Day weekend, as suggested by the eight out of 10 respondents (81 percent) who plan to travel by car and 19 percent traveling by air. Nearly half (49 percent) of those traveling also plan to stay at a hotel and almost one-third (30 percent) expect to spend their nights with friends or relatives.

As for summer travel, nearly six out of 10 (59 percent) survey respondents plan to take a trip between June 1 and Labor Day, which is flat compared with the share of respondents who said they made trips a year ago. The survey reveals that more than one-quarter (26 percent) expect to spend more money on their summer trips than they spent last year, while nearly half (49 percent) plan to spend the same amount.

"We continue to see an uptick in leisure travel as consumer confidence in the economy and job security strengthens," said Adam Weissenberg, vice chairman and leader of the tourism, hospitality and leisure sector for Deloitte LLP. "In total, 65 percent of respondents expect to take a vacation between Memorial Day and Labor Day. However, Memorial Day likely remains the time that people travel close to home and spend time with family and friends, while summer vacation is when they will likely book a hotel or motel and spend more money during the trip."

"Furthermore, 31 percent of respondents said they postponed a vacation but are ready for one now, and 17 percent are considering traveling overseas this summer. Both of these responses help to illustrate that people are interested in traveling this summer," Weissenberg added.

Consumers look to mobile devices for travel information

With the growth of smartphones, savvy travelers are beginning to lock in on the advantages of hotel and airline applications to save them time and money. One in ten (10 percent) respondents have used a hotel application on a web-enabled smartphone. Respondents who have used a hotel application have used it to: book a room, access their loyalty program account, view/modify/cancel an existing hotel room reservation, pay a hotel bill, check-in and check-out.

"While it appears only a minority of consumers currently embrace the use of hotel smartphone applications, increased adoption of these technologies is likely as smartphones become more ubiquitous and as hotel companies build out the capabilities and functionality of their applications," said Weissenberg. "Travel and hospitality companies that are on the edge of advancement in this arena may ultimately capture the consumer's attention and strengthen brand loyalty."

The Internet continues to play an important role in travelers' decision-making processes and social media has evolved into a valuable resource, as well. One in two (50 percent) respondents have used a computer or web-enabled smartphone to research information online about a hotel, while almost half (47 percent) have researched information online about a flight. Sixteen percent of respondents have read a positive consumer-generated comment about a hotel/motel, which influenced their decision to book a room at that facility, and 13 percent have used a social media site to research or plan a trip.

Support for full-body scanners at airports

The survey showed that half (50 percent) of all respondents support the use of full-body scanners at airports. An additional 24 percent expressed some discomfort with the scanners being used on them, but are willing to tolerate the new procedure if it enhances airport security.

Travelers "satisfied" with the car rental experience

More than half of respondents (54 percent) always, frequently or occasionally rent cars on vacation, and the majority of car renters expressed satisfaction with their overall car rental experience. More than three-quarters (76 percent) of car renters rated their overall car rental experience at seven or higher on a scale of one (unsatisfied) to 10 (very satisfied).

Source: PR Newswire

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