With less than a week to go before Christmas, more than 10 percent of Americans who say they are confident they will take a holiday vacation also report that this is the time when they will most likely book their trip, according to a national survey. That ten percent adds up to approximately 6 million additional bookings between now and Christmas, welcome news for the travel industry during an otherwise flat season.
The holiday edition of the Access America Vacation Confidence Index found that while many Americans book their holiday travel one to two months in advance, a significant number book a week or less in advance. Despite the procrastination in planning, almost half of respondents said that holiday travel is important to them.
“Fares have remained largely flat over last year. Particularly if you have some flexibility in your travel schedule, there are tons of last minute deals to be found. Prudent consumers will also consider purchasing travel insurance as a great way to protect their travel investment.”
The telephone poll of 1,000 Americans was commissioned by Mondial Assistance USA, best known for its Access America brand of travel insurance, and conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs.
“Now is a great time to book holiday travel,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications for Mondial Assistance. “Fares have remained largely flat over last year. Particularly if you have some flexibility in your travel schedule, there are tons of last minute deals to be found. Prudent consumers will also consider purchasing travel insurance as a great way to protect their travel investment.”
According to the survey, of those respondents who are confident they will take a holiday trip this year, over a quarter (27%) say they booked, or plan to book, between one to two months in advance. Two in ten (21%) booked two months or more in advance. Fourteen percent have booked or plan to book between a week and a month before while one in ten (12%) are presumably waiting for last minute deals as they book, or plan to book, one week or less before the holidays.
The survey also explored how important holiday travel is to Americans. Almost half (48%) of Americans say an annual holiday trip is important to them and a majority (52%) of Americans say they took a holiday last year (defined as a trip where they spent at least one night away from home).
Perhaps a lingering effect of the slow economic recovery, only two thirds (68%) of Americans who say holidays are important to them are confident that they will be able to take a holiday this year. Unfortunately, 32% of Americans who also feel their holidays are of importance do not feel confident (21% not at all/11% not very) that they will be able to travel during the holidays this year.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted November 4-7, 2010. For the survey, a nationally representative sample of 1,000 randomly-selected employed adults residing in the U.S. interviewed by telephone in Ipsos’ U.S. Telephone Express omnibus. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within ±3.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of employed adults in the U.S. been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The dollar figures were calculated based on a total of 115,000,000 U.S. households.
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