Expedia.com is introducing the latest issue
of its quarterly report, Expedia Travel Trendwatch(TM). Twenty-year travel
industry veteran and Expedia Travel Trendwatch(TM) Editor Chris McGinnis
reveals the findings of a recent Expedia.com consumer survey conducted by
Harris Interactive(R) showing, among other things, that 82 percent of U.S.
adults plan to travel by air as much or more this spring as last spring.
The same survey reveals that new passport requirements won’t likely slow
travel to Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, or the Caribbean. In
addition, the weakened U.S. dollar versus other currencies is a relatively
small concern to those considering international travel. The report also
provides further trend information, travel tips, and deals designed to help
people make better travel decisions.
“Following the peak holiday travel season, many find that winter is a
great time to beat the crowds and uncover off-peak travel deals,” said
McGinnis. “But travel during winter is nothing compared to the take-off
we’ll see when spring-breakers head for resorts and popular destinations in
March and April.”
Key travel trends and tips reported in the current issue of the Expedia
Travel Trendwatch(TM) include:
1) Spring break is a popular time to travel every year, and 2007 is no
exception. All signs point to this spring break season being as busy
as last year, continuing the pattern of the recent peak winter holiday
—The Expedia consumer survey found that 16 percent of U.S. adults
plan to travel by air more this spring than they did last spring,
and 66 percent plan to travel by air as much as they did last
—Airlines continue to raise fares despite declining fuel prices.
Fares to South Florida cities like Miami and Ft. Lauderdale are
up five percent to 10 percent. Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos and
Cancun, Mexico are up seven percent to 13 percent. Hawaii has
become a more affordable destination to visit, with average
year-over-year fares having decreased approximately 10 percent to
15 percent, partially due to a recent up tick in capacity to the
islands according to Expedia.com data.
2) Unseasonably warm temperatures in parts of the U.S. earlier this
winter could mean deeper discounts in warm weather destinations like
Florida and the Caribbean. Warmer than average weather could also
bolster more interest in skiing and big-city trips.
—With much of the country in a relatively balmy state early this
winter, the urge to migrate south may not be as strong as normal.
If winter weather remains mild, less demand for warm-weather
getaways could translate into more aggressive late-winter
discounting and an increase in last-minute deals in places like
Florida, the Caribbean and Mexico.
—The weather could have some impact on western ski resorts, as
snow-seekers head to the Rockies, Sierras and elsewhere on news
of multiple snowstorms. This season is on track to break the
record of 59 million skier visits in a season, set just last
year, according to the National Ski Areas Association.
3) Despite a weak U.S. dollar and concern over new passport requirements,
Americans are still traveling internationally.
—The Expedia.com consumer poll found that when it comes to
international travel, 38 percent of U.S. adults are not at all
influenced by the exchange rate when choosing a destination.
—Likewise, recent changes in passport requirements do not appear
to be dampening interest in overseas trips. The Expedia.com
consumer survey also found that 74 percent of U.S. adults say
that they are equally (68%) or more likely (6%) to travel to
Canada, Mexico, Central and South America or the Caribbean, the
areas recently affected by the new passport rules. Additionally,
the U.S. State Department anticipates that the number of
passports it issues in 2007 will increase to 16 million, compared
to 12.1 million in 2006.
Expedia Travel Trendwatch(TM) Travel Tips
Spring Break Deals
—If you are seeking a great deal and have flexible travel dates,
consider a spring trip sometime during the April 15 to May 30 “shoulder
season.” The crowds will dwindle, prices soften and the weather can’t
—This might be the winter to take to the seas because you’ll find lower
prices and more availability. If you have been considering a Caribbean
cruise but have yet to board a ship, seven new cruise ships were
christened in 2006 and nine more will debut this year. Cruise pricing
is softest this year in the Caribbean, while pricing for European or
Alaskan itineraries remains firm.
Hit the Slopes
—Look west for the best skiing conditions this winter. Washington,
Oregon and British Columbia have received the most snow so far this
year with nearly 100 percent of ski terrain open. Save on air and
hotel at these resorts by booking a ski vacation package, Expedia
customers save $220 on average when doing so.
—Get a passport! Having a passport on hand ensures the freedom to take
advantage of a last-minute flight to Canada or spur-of-the-moment
vacation to the Bahamas. Soon, passports will be required for those
entering the U.S. by land or sea so it’s worth the investment for 10
years of care free travel.