Industry Update
Editorial Article11 August 2010

Gulf oil spill travel impacts: Key findings from the summer 2010 RRC/Acxiom Travel Intentions Survey

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Hotel Data Conference (Large)

T he RRC/Acxiom Travel Intentions Survey is a quarterly syndicated study probing business and leisure travel behavior and intentions among U.S. consumers. With a total sample size of 1,496 respondents, the most recent RRC/Acxiom Travel Intentions Survey was fielded from late May through July 2010. It presents a nationally representative profile of the U.S. traveler in terms of perceptions regarding economic outlook, personal financial outlook, past and future business and leisure travel behavior, total spend on leisure travel, leisure trip types and volume of trips taken/intended, and desirability of specific international destinations.


Recognizing the threat to Gulf tourism posed by the Gulf oil spill, two questions relating to this issue were added to the survey instrument for respondents completing the survey from mid-June to the end of July 2010. A total of 538 individuals provided an assessment of the effects of the spill on their personal travel plans. The following presents key highlights of these results.

  • Overall, 17 percent of respondents indicated they were planning a trip to the Gulf this summer. Significant regional variation in the percent planning a trip to the Gulf was evident, with residents of the Southeastern U.S. much more likely to have summer trip plans to the region.
  • Of the 17 percent of respondents who indicated they intended to take a summer trip to the Gulf region, 50 percent indicated they will continue with their trip plans. But of that number, 13 percent indicate they will closely monitor where they go within the Gulf region. There is a great deal of regional variability in the percent indicating they still plan on taking their trip to the Gulf region. Generally, the percent persisting in their trip is higher in the eastern U.S. than the western U.S.
  • The impacts of the spill likely will linger during at least the next year. Overall, 35 percent believe the Gulf oil spill will have a long-term negative impact on their travel to the Gulf region. Significant age related differences in assessment of impacts of the Gulf spill were evident, with Gen X (30 to 45 year olds) having the highest percentage (42%) rating the impact on personal travel to the region a “4” or “5=significant long-term effects.” Not surprisingly, those who have cancelled or redirected their summer Gulf trip were the most negative in their assessment of long term impacts on Gulf travel, with 86 percent of those indicating they will redirect their travel to another region of the country, rating the impacts of the spill a “4” or “5=significant long-term effects.”

About Acxiom | Acxiom is a recognized leader in marketing technology and services that enable marketers to successfully manage audiences personalize consumer experiences and create profitable customer relationships. Our superior industry-focused, consultative approach combines consumer data and analytics, databases, data integration and consulting solutions for personalized, multichannel marketing strategies. Acxiom leverages over 40 years of experience in data management to deliver high-performance, highly secure, reliable information management services. Founded in 1969, Acxiom is headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, and serves clients around the world from locations in the United States, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and South America. For more information about Acxiom, visit .Acxiom is a registered trademark of Acxiom Corporation.

About STR

STR provides premium data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights for global hospitality sectors. Founded in 1985, STR maintains a presence in 15 countries with a corporate North American headquarters in Hendersonville, Tennessee, an international headquarters in London, and an Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore. For more information, please visit

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