TripAdvisor Survey Finds Americans Traveling Despite Rising Gas Prices
By James Shillinglaw
August 28, 2012 10:27 PM
TripAdvisor unveiled the results of its annual fall and Labor Day travel survey of more than 1,400 U.S. respondents. Eighty-five percent of travelers say they plan to take a leisure trip this autumn and 84 percent said rising gas prices will not affect their fall travel plans.
Thirty-four percent plan to spend more on fall travel than they did in 2011, while 42 percent plan to spend about the same amount and 12 percent plan to spend less than they did last year. Among those traveling, 61 percent plan to take more than one trip. Of those taking fall leisure trips, 72 percent are planning a hotel stay and 18 percent will rent a vacation home. Thirteen percent are taking international trips, 23 percent will travel both internationally and domestically, and 64 percent will take only domestic trips.
Seventy percent of travelers plan to travel by car for their autumn getaways. Among the 16 percent modifying travel plans due to higher prices at the pump, 51 percent are driving shorter distances and 46 percent are driving less often. With rising gas prices in mind, 27 percent are willing to drive 100-200 miles, 21 percent will go 200-300 miles, and 16 percent plan to drive over 500 miles.
The top five fall activities are view colorful fall foliage (39 percent), go wine tasting or visit a vineyard (26 percent), go to a state or county fair or fall festival (22 percent), attend a football game or collegiate homecoming (20 percent), go to a food festival (20 percent).
According to the survey, 27 percent are planning to travel this Labor Day weekend, up from 22 percent who traveled for the holiday last year. Among those traveling, 64 percent anticipate driving, and 31 percent will take to the skies. Of those traveling for Labor Day, 21 percent are planning an outdoor trip, 21 percent will take a beach trip, and 17 percent will go on a city escape.
Other findings of the survey include: 22 percent cite fewer crowds than in the summer as their top reason for fall travel, while 20 percent say they travel in the fall for the weather. Forty-two percent of fall leisure travelers will enjoy a city trip, 31 percent will take a cultural trip, and another 31 percent will head to the beach.