Hotel Online  Special Report



Leisure Travel Hits Six Year High in the U.S.;
Top Three Most Desired Destinations - Florida , California , Hawaii / YPB&R Survey

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 13, 2005) -- The percentage of adult Americans who have taken at least one overnight trip of more than 75 miles from home has risen to the highest level observed since 1999 according to the Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell/Yankelovich Partners 2005 National Leisure Travel Monitor. According to this closely-watched barometer of the travel habits, preferences and intentions of Americans, fully 58% of American adults took such a trip during the past 12 months (up from 49% last year), of which one third took at least one trip primarily for business and 93% took at least one trip primarily for pleasure.

The results of the survey suggest that demand for both domestic and international travel services will continue to grow in the year ahead, notwithstanding any concerns about safety and security or the rising cost of gasoline.

Among other things, the survey revealed:

-- 68% of adults took at least one leisure trip with a spouse or another adult, while 37% took at least one trip with children (a significant increase from the percentage observed last year), and fully 26% took at least one vacation alone;

-- Weekend vacations(4 nights or less including a Saturday) reign as the most popular and now represent 56% of all vacations taken by Americans, although there has been an increase in the incidence of vacations lasting more than five nights;

-- 30% of adults are planning to take fewer vacations in the year ahead (roughly equivalent to the percentage observed last year), and "not able to get away from my job/work" is the most frequently-cited reason why;

-- Trips that include a naturalistic element remain very popular, with the incidence of beach/lake vacations rising significantly over the previous year (cited by an estimated 27% of leisure travelers, up from 21% last year);

-- 20% of active travelers took an international trip during the previous 12 months, although 60% say they are less likely to take such a trip in the year ahead if the U.S. dollar continues to decline against other major world currencies;

-- Florida (40%), California (36%), Hawaii (22%), New York (19%), Colorado (17%) and Nevada (17%) remain the states U.S. adults say they would like to visit most during the next two years;

-- National parks now top the list of specific destinations of interest to American leisure travelers (66%), followed by the Neighbor Islands of Hawaii (63%), Honolulu (59%), the Florida Keys (53%), the mountain resorts of Colorado (46%) and Lake Tahoe (46%). New York City is mentioned by 45% of adults, Orlando by 44% and Las Vegas by 43%;

-- The Internet is now used exclusively for vacation planning purposes by 56% of all leisure travelers who are active hotel and airline users, whereas 23% consult both travel agents and the Internet and 10% rely exclusively on travel agents;

-- Although the percentage of adults who have used the Internet to obtain information and/or prices on travel services declined from the previous year, the percentage who now report booking reservations online has increased from 45% to 47%;

-- 46% of active leisure travelers are interested in taking a cruise, and 10% are interesting in purchasing a timeshare or owning vacation time.

The Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell/Yankelovich Partners National Travel Monitor is an annual survey of 1,650 U.S. adults. Widely-regarded as one of the most accurate barometers of the travel habits and intentions of Americans, the survey is now in its 13th year.



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