There are still two months left in a winter
travel season that the Travel Industry Association (TIA) is
projecting will be busier than last year. The association predicts
that travelers will take 251 million trips of 50 miles or more,
one-way, up 2% from last winter.
(The TIA counts
what it calls person-trips, or individual trips of more than 50
miles from home, in this research).
Should the TIAs
projection come to fruition, it would establish a record for winter
It would also be an
improvement over the fall, when, based on TIA data, Hurricane
Katrina and a tough job market conspired to slow travel to 279.4
million trips, 1.1% fewer than in fall 2004.
The projected 2%
increase for this winter is reasonable growth for winter travel,
said Roger Dow, the TIAs president and CEO.
Following the very
soft fall travel season, we began to see signs of economic
recovery, which translated into higher consumer confidence and
spending, Dow said. Judging by this forecast, its apparent that
travelers are far more confident about taking a winter
The TIAs figures
show that leisure trips will be up 2.4% to 202.6 million
convention travel is expected to be up 1% compared with last
business/convention travel continues to fall short of the 37.1
million trips taken in the winter of 2000.
Since that year,
winter business/convention travel declined to 31.6 million trips in
2001, 29.8 million in 2002, and 29.6 million in 2003, the lowest
point during the last six years.
travel has slowly inched up since 2003.