Expedia Travel Trendwatch Observes Consumer Appetite for Winter Travel, Delivers Outlook On Spring Break Hot Spots
Spring Break Travel Outlook Strong; Warm Winter Weather, Passport Regulations and International Currency Exchange Rates Having Subtle Impact
Expedia.com(R), the world's leading online travel provider, introduced the latest issue of its quarterly report, Expedia Travel Trendwatch (TM).
Twenty-year travel industry veteran and Expedia Travel Trendwatch (TM) Editor Chris McGinnis reveals the findings of a recent Expedia.com consumer survey conducted by Harris Interactive(R) showing, among other things, that 82 percent of U.S. adults plan to travel by air as much or more this spring as last spring.
The same survey reveals that new passport requirements won't likely slow travel to Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, or the Caribbean. In addition, the weakened U.S. dollar versus other currencies is a relatively small concern to those considering international travel. The report also provides further trend information, travel tips, and deals designed to help people make better travel decisions. To view the complete report, please visit http://www.expedia.com/trendwatch .
"Following the peak holiday travel season, many find that winter is a great time to beat the crowds and uncover off-peak travel deals," said McGinnis. "But travel during winter is nothing compared to the take-off we'll see when spring-breakers head for resorts and popular destinations in March and April."
Key travel trends and tips reported in the current issue of the Expedia Travel Trendwatch(TM) include:
1) Spring break is a popular time to travel every year, and 2007 is no
exception. All signs point to this spring break season being as busy
as last year, continuing the pattern of the recent peak winter holiday
-- The Expedia consumer survey found that 16 percent of U.S. adults
plan to travel by air more this spring than they did last spring,
and 66 percent plan to travel by air as much as they did last
-- Airlines continue to raise fares despite declining fuel prices.
Fares to South Florida cities like Miami and Ft. Lauderdale are
up five percent to 10 percent. Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos and
Cancun, Mexico are up seven percent to 13 percent. Hawaii has
become a more affordable destination to visit, with average
year-over-year fares having decreased approximately 10 percent to
15 percent, partially due to a recent up tick in capacity to the
islands according to Expedia.com data.
2) Unseasonably warm temperatures in parts of the U.S. earlier this
winter could mean deeper discounts in warm weather destinations like
Florida and the Caribbean. Warmer than average weather could also
bolster more interest in skiing and big-city trips.
-- With much of the country in a relatively balmy state early this
winter, the urge to migrate south may not be as strong as normal.
If winter weather remains mild, less demand for warm-weather
getaways could translate into more aggressive late-winter
discounting and an increase in last-minute deals in places like
Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico.
-- The weather could have some impact on western ski resorts, as
snow-seekers head to the Rockies, Sierras and elsewhere on news
of multiple snowstorms. This season is on track to break the
record of 59 million skier visits in a season, set just last
year, according to the National Ski Areas Association.
3) Despite a weak U.S. dollar and concern over new passport requirements,
Americans are still traveling internationally.
-- The Expedia.com consumer poll found that when it comes to
international travel, 38 percent of U.S. adults are not at all
influenced by the exchange rate when choosing a destination.
-- Likewise, recent changes in passport requirements do not appear
to be dampening interest in overseas trips. The Expedia.com
consumer survey also found that 74 percent of U.S. adults say
that they are equally (68%) or more likely (6%) to travel to
Canada, Mexico, Central and South America or the Caribbean, the
areas recently affected by the new passport rules. Additionally,
the U.S. State Department anticipates that the number of
passports it issues in 2007 will increase to 16 million, compared
to 12.1 million in 2006.
Expedia Travel Trendwatch (TM) Travel Tips
Spring Break Deals
-- If you are seeking a great deal and have flexible travel dates,
consider a spring trip sometime during the April 15 to May 30 "shoulder
season." The crowds will dwindle, prices soften and the weather can't
-- This might be the winter to take to the seas because you'll find lower
prices and more availability. If you have been considering a Caribbean
cruise but have yet to board a ship, seven new cruise ships were
christened in 2006 and nine more will debut this year. Cruise pricing
is softest this year in the Caribbean, while pricing for European or
Alaskan itineraries remains firm.
Hit the Slopes
-- Look west for the best skiing conditions this winter. Washington,
Oregon and British Columbia have received the most snow so far this
year with nearly 100 percent of ski terrain open. Save on air and
hotel at these resorts by booking a ski vacation package, Expedia
customers save $220 on average when doing so. Visit
-- Get a passport! Having a passport on hand ensures the freedom to take
advantage of a last-minute flight to Canada or spur-of-the-moment
vacation to the Bahamas. Soon, passports will be required for those
entering the U.S. by land or sea so it's worth the investment for 10
years of care free travel.
About Expedia Travel Trendwatch(TM)
Expedia Travel Trendwatch(TM) is a quarterly report on consumer travel trends, plus insight and tips from Expedia.com, the world's leading online travel service, and Chris McGinnis, a 20-year travel industry veteran who is the editor of the report. McGinnis' travel industry insight and expertise, coupled with unparalleled travel intelligence from Expedia.com(R), can be found throughout each report, providing a treasure trove of data, trends, and tips designed to help empower and inform travelers.
About Chris McGinnis:
Chris McGinnis is the editor of the Expedia Travel Trendwatch(TM). Prior to teaming up with Expedia in early 2006, McGinnis covered the travel beat in a variety of roles, from travel correspondent on CNN Headline News and travel columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Entrepreneur magazine, to producer of special travel sections for Fortune magazine. Based in San Francisco, his is also a speaker, consultant and the author of two books on travel: The Unofficial Business Traveler's Pocket Guide and 202 Tips Even the Best Business Travelers May Not Know (McGraw-Hill).
Expedia.com (R) is the world's leading online travel provider, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia.com (http://www.expedia.com/ ) aims to provide personalized service, the latest technology and the widest selection of vacation packages, flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises and in-destination activities, attractions, and services. With the Expedia(R) Best Price Guarantee, Expedia.com promises to offer to its customers the best rates available online for all types of travel, making it the most comprehensive customer guarantee in online travel. Expedia.com is an operating unit of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) .
NOTE: Expedia, Expedia.com are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.
About the Expedia.com Consumer Survey
This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Expedia Inc. between December 27 and December 29, 2006 among 2,757 U.S. adults 18 years of age or older. Figures for region, age within gender, education, household income and race/ethnicity 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, except in the case of any questions that pertain specifically to online behavior, which were weighted to be representative of the online population of U.S. adults on the basis of Internet usage (hours per week) and connection type.
With a pure probability sample of 2,757 adults one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results would have a sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points. However, that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides research-driven insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what it believes to be the world's largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in France and through a global network of independent market research firms. The service bureau, HISB, provides its market research industry clients with mixed-mode data collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and tracking research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com . To become a member of the Harris Poll Online and be invited to participate in online surveys, register at http://go.hpolsurveys.com/PR .
BELLEVUE, Wash., Jan. 24, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --
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Source: Expedia, Inc.