New Survey Confirms Escalating Gasoline Prices May Affect Future Travel Plans

ORLANDO, FL — (MARKET WIRE) — 09/19/2005 — A new national survey of active travelers has revealed that fully 53% say their travel plans would change if gasoline prices reach $3.50 per gallon. Among them, 26% said they would “drive a shorter distance on vacation.” An additional 26% said they would “save money on other aspects of their vacation.” Fifteen percent (15%) said they would probably fly instead of drive to their destination. But in some encouraging news for the travel industry, only 19% said they would actually cancel their trip.

The results were taken from a nationally projectable survey of adult leisure travelers who are planning to take a “drive vacation” with their personal automobile or rental car during the next six months. Respondents were interviewed during the week of September 12, 2005. Other highlights of the survey include:

– Respondents were planning to drive an average of 582 miles on their
next “drive vacation”;
– Twenty-five percent were planning to drive a mid-sized sedan, 20% an
SUV, 14% an economy car, 11% a pickup truck, and 10% a full-sized sedan;
– Five percent were planning to drive a recreational vehicle or pull a
towable RV;
– One-third (33%) of respondents indicated their plans would change if
gasoline were to reach $3.25 per gallon, and an additional 20% indicated
the same at a price of $3.50 per gallon; only 14% indicated their plans
would not change regardless of the price of gasoline;
– When asked about the price at which gasoline would cause them to
cancel their “drive vacation,” 13% indicated they could cancel at $3.25 per
gallon, an additional 13% stated $3.50 per gallon, another 8% cited $3.75
per gallon, and 20% stated $4.00 per gallon;
– 46% of respondents indicated they expect the price of gasoline to
decrease during the next six months; 35% expect it to increase, and 19%
expect it to stay the same;
– When asked about the other activities in which they were less likely
to participate as a result of rising gas prices, 56% said “dine out,” 47%
said “go to the movies” or “buy electronics,” 41% said “buy clothes or buy
gifts,” and 26% said “spend more of my budget for other ordinary living
expenses.”

Respondents were 50% male, 50% female, and all were over 18 years of age. All estimates are accurate to within +/- 4% at a 95% confidence.
Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell is America’s leading marketing, advertising and public relations firm specializing in serving the travel and leisure industries. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, the agency maintains additional offices across the United States and Europe.

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