Poll shows travelers plan to spend more during holidays


Art Pfenning Despite recent declines in consumer confidence, a new Maritz poll reported good news for industries associated with holiday travel.

The poll showed that Americans who planned to travel during the holiday period were going to spend at least 25% more than they did during the same time last year.

According to the poll, the median amount travelers planned to spend on travel over the holidays was $500, compared with $400 in 2003.

Twenty-five percent of Americans actually planned to travel, which is consistent with a similar Maritz poll conducted last year.

The findings indicated that travelers were spending more money in a variety of ways. Specifically, 39% intended to travel by air over the holidays compared with only 29% in 2003.

Travelers intended to spend an average of $126 per night on lodging, which is higher than the 2003 average of $96 per night.

While an increase in travel costs, such as gas prices and hotel rates, will make holiday travel cost more, there also seems to be more discretionary money to fly rather than drive, or to stay at better hotels, said Rick Garlick, director of strategic consulting for Maritz Research Hospitality Group.

Among those who said they were going to travel before the years end, 37% said they would spend more on holiday travel this year than last.

Meanwhile, 10% of those who planned to travel said they would spend less this year than last.

Art Pfenning is the research director for Northstar Travel Media, Travel Weeklys parent company. For information on how research can help your business, or if you are interested in having NTM Research conduct your next project, contact Pfenning at [email protected].


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