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Holiday Travel Increase
November 16, 2011

Americans more confident they will vacation this year

By Johanna Jainchill

Holiday travel spending will jump 10% this year, according to travel insurance provider Mondial Assistance.

The Access America Vacation Confidence Index, a poll conducted on behalf of Mondial (parent company of Access America), found that nearly six in ten Americans (57%) are confident they will take a holiday trip this year, up from 50% in 2010.

That increase will translate into nearly $6 billion more travel spending, pushing total holiday travel spending to $65.2 billion this year, 10% more than in 2010, the survey found.

Each traveler intends to spend $980 on average, down slightly from $1,040 budgeted last year.

Most holiday travelers (56%) will drive, but more travelers plan to fly this year than they have since 2009. Thirty-four percent plan to travel by airplane this year, up from 26% last year and 27% in 2009.

More Americans planned to book early this year, with 49% intending to book their travel at least two months in advance, up from 42% in 2010.

Men are more likely than women to wait until the last minute to book holiday travel, with 32% saying they plan to book within a month of their departure, compared to 21% of women.

The increase in Americans planning to travel during the holiday brings down the vacation deficit index, a number reached by gauging the proportion of Americans who say a vacation is important to them but aren’t confident about taking one.

This holiday season, the deficit is down to 21% from 32% last year.

“What we’re seeing is that travel continues to be an important investment for Americans, even in unsettled economic times,” said Dan Durazo of Access America.

Source: Terry Ausenbaugh | H&A Media Group, The Nugget, November 16, 2011; Travel Weekly, article written by Johanna Jainchill.



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