Travellers unswayed by negative news

Expedia.com has introduced the latest issue of its quarterly report, Expedia Travel
Trendwatch. In it, Expedia found that travelers are taking the tough
summer season in stride as their desire for relaxing and restorative
vacations outweighs the potential delays or problems that can occur during
peak travel season. In fact, a July Expedia.com poll (1) found 68 percent
of U.S. adults who have taken or plan to take a summer vacation this year
will not modify their vacation plans because of negative news around air
travel hassles and rising prices. Additionally, an Expedia.de poll of
hoteliers across Europe found Americans to be overall good tourists
exhibiting such traits as generosity and willingness to try local cuisine.
On the flip side, we received poor marks for our fashion sense, hotel room
cleanliness and being very noisy. To view the complete report, please visit
http://www.expediatraveltrendwatch.com http://www.expedia.com/trendwatch.
  “It’s encouraging to see that despite the tough travel environment,
vacationers are still hitting the roads and skies this summer,” said Chris
McGinnis, editor, Expedia Travel Trendwatch. “The tradition of summer
vacation remains ingrained in the American psyche and travelers are rolling
with the punches this year. They are finding some surprises like lower
airfares, warm welcomes overseas and new tools like user-generated content
sites to help make better travel decisions.”
  Key travel trends and data as reported in the current issue of the
Expedia Travel Trendwatch(TM) include:
    1) Summer travel update; air, hotel, cruise and car rentals

    * Airfares to some major markets have gone down year-over-year and
      tighter domestic growth could mean fewer discounts in the near
      term, but capacity growth on international routes bodes well for
      shoulder-season or off-peak discounting this fall or winter.

    * Vacationers are grappling with high hotel rates in most markets
      however; savvy shoppers are relying on user generated content on
      sites such as TripAdvisor.com to help make wise accommodation
      choices.  Similarly, Expedia.com recently introduced the Insider’s
      Select list of the world’s best hotels as rated by Expedia.com
      travelers and the organization’s own destination experts.

    * Airline stress is triggering many cruise-goers to arrive in port a
      day early to ensure they don’t hit trouble and miss their scheduled
      departure and more cruise lines are offering Caribbean itineraries
      that start and end in the middle of the week to help avoid weekend
      bottlenecks at airports and in port cities.

    * Car rental rates remain flat to slightly up year-over-year compared
      to last summer according to Expedia.com data and higher gas prices
      are not affecting the choice of car size.

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  2) Americans are perceived abroad more favorably than they imagined ...
    except for their fashion sense.

    * According to a July Expedia.com poll(2), nearly two-thirds (64
      percent) of U.S. adults think that American tourists traveling abroad
      are perceived more negatively than they were five years ago.  The same
      poll found Americans believe that Europeans perceive them as spoiled,
      self-centered and loud when traveling abroad.  However ...

    * A separate poll of European hotel managers conducted by Expedia.de
      ranked Americans as second only to the Japanese in its study to find
      the world’s “best tourists.”  Hotel managers praised Americans as
      being great tippers, willing to try local cuisine, will to speak the
      language and generous travelers overall.

    * The same survey ranked Americans at the bottom in terms of our fashion
      sense finding shell suits (ie. sweat suits) and white socks with
      sandals to be inappropriate fashion choices.  We are also considered
      loud, but slightly less so than the Italians.
 
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