No Vacation from the Economy: Two Thirds of Americans Plan Summer Vacation, but Nearly Half will Spend Less Than Last Year
More than one in three Americans (35%) said they are not planning on taking any leisure trips this summer. Many more (77%) are anticipating that they will not travel on business in the next four months. But not everyone is planning to stay home. Nearly two out of three adults (65%) are planning a vacation this summer, including 17% who are anticipating making three or more trips this summer..
Many travelers say the shaky economy means their 2009 summer vacation will look different than their 2008 summer getaway:
- Nearly three in ten (29%) adults plan on decreasing the number of leisure trips they make by car;
- One-third (33%) say they will take fewer plane trips for leisure;
- Another third (34%) will cut the number of weekend trips they take;
- Slightly more than one-third (35%) will reduce the duration of their vacations; and,
- Nearly half (46%) plan to reduce the amount of money they spend on vacation.
Those who are planning a trip this summer will spend an average of $1,629 on their travel this summer. Among those who are planning on reducing the amount of money they spend:
- Six out of ten (60%) are hoping to economize their leisure travel this summer by finding less expensive activities or meal options;
- Half will seek out less expensive accommodations (52%) or will vacation closer to home (50%);
- Nearly two in five (39%) are also hoping to reduce travel costs by staying with family and friends instead of at a hotel, by cooking their own meals instead of dining out or by driving instead of flying; and,
- Three in ten (31%) say they will share costs with other family members or friends.
Companies are also altering their summer travel plans due to economic conditions. More than one in five adults (22%) say their employer has reduced or eliminated all non-essential travel and 15% work for companies which are encouraging the use of technology (e.g. teleconferencing, video conferencing) to reduce or eliminate travel.
While the economy is clearly changing the way Americans vacation, they are not willing to postpone their summer vacation plans altogether. This is great news for those in the travel industry; it is important to be especially mindful of people who are looking to cut costs. Offering deals to people will be especially important this summer. Because many people intend to stay closer to home for their summer vacations, the travel industry would also do well to consider promotions and advertising that reaches out to people in their own cities, states, and regions. Retailers may also look to market to larger group activities as people look to reduce vacation costs by sharing costs with family and friends.
The Harris Poll® #50, May 19, 2009
By Allison Powell, Research Director, Travel and Tourism Practice, Harris Interactive
This Harris Poll® was conducted online within the United States April 13 and 21, 2009 among 2,401 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. Full data tables and methodology are available at .
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
J35928, Q750, 755, 760, 765, 770, 780
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