Hotel Online  Special Report



US Leisure Travel Reached a Record High in 2003;
However, the Share of Leisure Traveler Visits to
National and State Parks Reached a 10-year Low
Falls Church, VA April 29,2004 - US leisure travel reached a record high in 2003; however, the share of leisure travel parties reporting visits to historic sites and National/State parks reached a 10-year low. Park visitation volume has increased slightly over the past decade, but the proportion of leisure travel parties visiting parks is down significantly. “With declining park budgets, maintenance problems, and park offerings remaining static while alternative destination activities expand, National/State parks are losing share among U.S. travelers”, said Doug Shifflet, President and CEO of D.K. Shifflet & Associates, Ltd, a leading travel research firm.

National and State parks’ share of leisure visitation is down by 29% since 1994. Park
activity participation, which peaked in 1995 at 9.0% of all leisure trips, has dropped to 6.4% in 2003.

The share of leisure travel parties visiting historic sites has declined even more than parks (-47%) since 1994. The decline in historic site visitation share reached a new low in 2003 when only 5.6% of all leisure travel parties included a visit to an historic site. This trend analysis was recently completed by D. K. Shifflet & Associates Ltd.

D.K. Shifflet & Associates Ltd., in Falls Church, VA, is the recognized leader in providing the most complete consumer based travel data on US residents and their travel worldwide. DKS&A has over 20 years experience in travel research and is the premier provider of monthly US population travel behavior and attitude measurement. DKS&A travel volume estimates, expenditures, satisfaction and value brand benchmarks for all major hotel chains, airlines, rental cars, cruise lines, activities, destinations (states, counties and cities) are the most thoroughly researched in the industry. 

D.K. Shifflet & Associates, Ltd.
Jim Caldwell
7115 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22043
Phone 703.536.0933

Also See: Resort Management Conference Report - Leisure Travel Drives Growing Destination Resort Recovery / April 2002
TIA Survey Unwraps the Last Minute Traveler / Nov 2002

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