U.S. Travelers Share Views on 2003 Including: War with Iraq, Terrorism, & The Economy

Travelers plan to spend more on leisure travel in 2003, but anxieties over a
weak economy and the threat of terrorism still weigh heavily on travelers`
minds. A recent survey conducted by Tyzo.com
, an online travel club found
that 32% of travelers plan to increase spending on leisure travel in 2003,
while 53% plan to spend the same amount, and only 15% plan to decrease

By far the biggest drag on leisure travel spending is a weak economy.
Nearly two-thirds of travelers singled out a weak economy over the threat of
terrorism as having the greatest impact on their travel spending habits.
“If the economic picture improves in 2003 we should see a much stronger
comeback in leisure travel, however, terrorism still remains a serious
wildcard” says Ray Hibbard, Editor of Tyzo.com.

A war with Iraq is also on travelers` minds. While only 7% of travelers
indicated a war with Iraq would keep them from taking a domestic leisure
trip, nearly 38% said they would avoid traveling abroad during a conflict.
“As expected a war with Iraq would have its greatest impact on international
travel. Many travelers choose to stay closer to home during times of
conflict” states Mr. Hibbard.

The survey points to 2003 as being a year of modest growth for the leisure
travel industry. However, a war with Iraq may present a significant
challenge to this recovery. 
Jim Winchester, a lodging analyst at Lazard Freres supports the view that fear of war with Iraq is keeping travelers at home. He commented, “The media blitz of stories has definitely had a dampening effect on all types of travel,” he said.

The survey was based on over 2,000 responses
from members of Tyzo.com.