One-Third of Americans Less Likely to Travel This Summer Due to Economic Outlook

NEW YORK, N.Y. – June 19, 2013 – Many people have fond memories of those summer vacations of their youth – hanging out at the beach with siblings, getting told by dad to be quiet or he’ll pull the car over, and just relishing the time with friends and family. But is it still the same? With most schools now out for the year and Fourth of July around the corner, summer travel is set to kick into high gear for this season. But actual plans for travel are mixed; while the percentage of Americans indicating they plan on taking at least one leisure trip this summer (64%) is up slightly from 2012 (60%), there are indications that more would like to do so but feel held back.

While just over two in five (43%) say that the economy has no impact on their travel plans, one-third of Americans (34%) indicate that their outlook on the U.S. economy makes them less likely to travel over the summer. This is down slightly from 2012, when 36% said they would be less likely to travel due to the economy.

These are among the findings from a Harris Poll of 2,276 U.S. adults (aged 18 and older) surveyed online from March 13-18, 2013 by Harris Interactive.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans plan on taking at least one leisure trip from May through October, up from 60% in 2012. In contrast, the 17% of Americans anticipating one or more business trips within that same timespan is down slightly from 2010 and 2012 (19% each) and considerably from 2009 (23%).

  • Men are more likely than women to anticipate at least one leisure trip (68% men, 61%), and are more than twice as likely to anticipate one or more business trips (24%-11%).
  • Additionally, those living in households with children under 18 are significantly more likely than those without to be anticipating both one or more leisure trips (69%-62%) and one or more business trips (26%-14%).

Vacationers (those expecting to take one or more leisure trips over the summer) anticipate spending an average of $1,665 for summer leisure travel overall; business travelers anticipate spending $2,231 on average.

Beachy Keen

When asked which type of destination they plan on visiting during their leisure travel this summer, the highest percentage of vacationers (38%) say they’ll be hitting a beach location, followed by downtown/center of a city (27%), countryside/rural (23%) and national/state park (23%). Roughly two in ten are planning a theme park trip (21%), mountain location excursion (19%), suburban/on the edge of a large or small city (19%), or a leisure/discovery vacation (17%), while one in ten plan on taking a cruise (10%) or visiting an international location (9%).

  • Younger vacationers (Echo Boomers and Gen Xers) are more likely than their older counterparts (Baby Boomers and Matures) to be planning either a beach vacation (45% Echo Boomers, 47% Gen Xers, 32% Baby Boomers, 27% Matures) or a theme park trip (31%, 25%, 14% and 6%, respectively).
  • Men appear more attracted to the outdoors, as they are more likely than women to be planning a trip to a national or state park (28% men, 17% women) or a mountain location (24% men, 14% women).
  • Those in households with children under 18 are more likely than those without to be planning beach (47% with, 34% without), theme park (35% with, 13% without) and cruise (15% with, 7% without) vacations, while those without are more likely to be planning trips to suburban destinations (21% without, 14% with).
  • Urbanites are significantly more likely than either their suburban or rural counterparts to be planning international leisure travel for the summer (15% urban, 8% suburban, 4% rural).

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TABLE 1

LEISURE TRIPS PLANNED

How many leisure and/or business trips do you anticipate taking over the summer (May – August)?

Percent planning leisure trips

Base: All adults

Total 2009

Total

2010

Total 2012

Total

2013

%

%

%

%

0 Trips

35

34

39

36

1+ Trips (NET)

65

66

60

64

1-2 Trips

48

47

45

44

3-4 Trips

15

13

9

12

5+ Trips

2

6

6

8

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding;

In 2009 the nets were taken of 3-5 trips and 6+ trips, respectively.

 

TABLE 2

BUSINESS TRIPS PLANNED

How many leisure and/or business trips do you anticipate taking over the summer (May – August)?

Percent planning business trips

Base: All adults

Total 2009

Total

2010

Total

2012

Total

2013

%

%

%

%

0 Trips

77

81

81

83

 

1+ Trips (NET)

23

19

19

17

1-2 Trips

9

13

12

11

3-4 Trips

11

3

3

3

5+ Trips

3

3

4

3

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding;

In 2009 the nets were taken of 1 trip, 2-5 trips, and 6+ trips, respectively.

 

TABLE 3

PLANNING 1+ LEISURE/BUSINESS TRIPS – by Gender & Children <18 in HH

How many leisure and/or business trips do you anticipate taking over the summer (May – August)?

Base: All adults

Total

Gender

Children <18 in HH

Male

Female

Yes

No

%

%

%

%

%

1+ Leisure Trips

64

68

61

69

62

1+ Business Trips

17

24

11

26

14

 

TABLE 4

PLANNING 1+ LEISURE/BUSINESS TRIPS – by Gender & Children <18 in HH

How many leisure and/or business trips do you anticipate taking over the summer (May – August)?

Base: Plan on specified type of travel

$1,665

Total

Mean anticipated leisure travel spending

Mean anticipated business travel spending

$2,231

 

TABLE 5

IMPACT OF U.S. ECONOMIC OUTLOOK ON LIKELIHOOD TO TRAVEL IN NEXT 4 MONTHS

How does your outlook on the U.S. economy impact your likelihood to travel over the summer (May-August)?

Base: All adults

Total 2009

Total 2010

Total 2012

Total 2013

%

%

%

%

More likely (NET)

7

6

8

6

I am much more likely to travel

3

3

3

2

I am somewhat more likely to travel

4

3

5

4

No impact on my likelihood to travel

40

46

44

43

I am somewhat less likely to travel

23

20

17

19

I am much less likely to travel

18

16

19

15

Less likely (NET)

41

36

36

34

I have no plans to travel

12

13

13

17

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100 percent due to rounding.

 

TABLE 6

TYPE OF VACATION DESTINATION – Mentions over 3%

by Generation, Gender, Children <18 in HH & Metro Status

To which of the following types of destinations do you plan on vacationing this summer?

Base: Plan on taking 1+ leisure trips over the summer

Total

Generation

Gender

Children <18 in HH

Metro Status

Echo Boomers 18-35

Gen Xers 36-47

Baby Boomers 48-66

Matures 67+

Male

Female

Yes

No

Urban

Suburban

Rural

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Beach location

38

45

47

32

27

35

42

47

34

41

40

33

Downtown/Center of a city

27

31

28

22

24

25

29

27

26

34

27

18

Countryside/Rural

23

19

27

26

21

24

23

21

25

28

20

28

National/State Park

23

25

23

22

19

28

17

27

20

26

21

23

Theme park

21

31

25

14

6

22

19

35

13

22

22

16

Mountain location

19

21

19

17

20

24

14

21

18

21

17

22

Suburban / On the edge of a large or small city

19

20

12

18

29

19

18

14

21

21

19

15

Leisure/Discovery (destination in which the primary attraction is a spa, wine country, golf or other unique attractions)

17

19

16

15

17

18

16

15

18

17

16

18

Cruise

10

13

8

7

8

11

8

15

7

9

9

11

International location

9

12

10

5

10

10

7

10

8

15

8

4

Family (reunion, hometown, wedding, etc.)

7

3

5

9

12

5

9

3

9

4

8

8

Note: Multiple responses allowed.

 

Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between March 13 and 18, 2013 among 2,276 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.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

The Harris Poll #37, June 19, 2013

By Larry Shannon-Missal, Harris Poll Research Manager

 

About Harris Interactive

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