Travel + Leisure readers travel, spend more

Readers of Travel + Leisure magazine tend to travel more, and more widely, and to spend more than nonreaders of the publication. But how much more?

A fair amount, as it turns out.

According to the magazines latest Consumer Intelligence Report, readers took an average of 3.1 domestic trips during the last 12 months, and 31% of them took five or more. Nonreaders, on the other hand, averaged 1.9 trips, and only 19% of them took five or more.

The results are based on an online poll of over 1,000 subscribers conducted in October. For comparison purposes, the magazine also polled a national sample of travelers who are nonreaders.

According to the data, the T + L readers spend more than twice as much. When asked how much they expect to spend on leisure travel over the next year, readers tallied up an average of $11,136, more than double the $5,411 reported by nonreaders.

Based on these estimates, it seems the two groups tend to divide their domestic and international travel along the same lines, with about 60% to 65% of the total earmarked for international travel.

However, in terms of the anticipated destinations, the two groups differ more markedly. As shown on the accompanying chart, nonreaders expressed proportionately more interest in Canada and Mexico than in European destinations. T + L readers showed a stronger preference for Europe.

The two groups showed about equal interest in Hawaii.

The magazines readers are also more into cruising. More than two-thirds have cruised, and 36% plan to cruise in the next 12 months. For nonreaders, the corresponding numbers were 40% and 28%, respectively.

Perhaps because they tend to be repeat cruisers, T + L readers also seem to put the somewhat more far-flung itineraries on their to-do list. When asked to name their planned cruise destinations, 49% of readers named Greece and the Mediterranean, while 47% ranked Alaska. The Caribbean ranked third at 36%.

Rising gas prices appeared to be less of a deterrent to T+ L readers. Over half the readers surveyed, 55%, said gas prices will have no effect on car rentals, and a third said prices will have no effect on leisure driving. For nonreaders, those numbers came in at 28% and 17%, respectively.

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