Travelers Not Blown Away by Predictions of an Active 2007 Hurricane Season
Influence of 2005 Hurricanes Diminishing
PRNewswire NEEDHAM, Mass. (NASDAQ:EXPE)
NEEDHAM, Mass., June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel community, today announced the results of its annual hurricane survey of more than 1,300 travelers worldwide. Ninety-two percent of travelers said their plans have not been influenced by predictions for an active 2007 hurricane season, compared to 89 percent last year.
Riders on the Storm
Twenty-nine percent of travelers (36 percent of Americans) are planning to visit a hurricane-susceptible destination this summer. Not surprisingly, the most popular hurricane-prone destination for travelers this summer/fall is Florida. When it comes to spots travelers are likely to avoid during hurricane season, 22 percent cited the Caribbean, and an additional 22 percent said they would bypass the southern panhandle of Florida and gulf coast region.
Diminishing Effects of '05 Hurricane Season
Twenty percent of travelers (24 percent of Americans) will visit a destination that has been severely affected by hurricanes over the past few years this summer/fall, up from 16 percent who were planning to do the same last year. Sixty-five percent of travelers said that recent devastating hurricanes such as Katrina, Wilma and Rita have not influenced their travel decisions this year. Three percent of travelers have an uncanny desire to experience a hurricane first hand.
Braving it for Bucks
Fifty-five percent of travelers (65 percent of Americans) would travel to a popular hurricane susceptible destination, for a significant savings, compared to 51 percent in 2006. Fifty percent of those travelers heading to hurricane-susceptible destinations this summer will purchase hurricane cancellation protection/trip insurance.
Other Summer Travel Concerns: Weak U.S. Dollar, Wild Gas Prices, and Wicked Tornadoes
Travelers abroad are flocking to the U.S. due to the weak dollar. With favorable exchange rates for non-Americans, 31 percent are planning a summer holiday in the U.S. Meanwhile, 18 percent of Americans are likely to cancel, downgrade or change plans for travel outside of the U.S. because of the weak dollar.
If Memorial Day weekend is a bellwether for the rest of the summer season, travelers may be staying a bit closer to home. Twenty-two percent of respondents said the rising gas prices affected their Memorial Day weekend travel plans (14 percent said they decided not to travel this Memorial Day weekend as a result of rising gas prices, and eight percent shortened their trips.)
Tornadoes are the natural disaster travelers fear most, at 26 percent. Twenty-four percent noted earthquakes, 23 percent cited tsunamis, and 12 percent said hurricanes.
"Travelers are remarkably influenced by the most current events," said Michele Perry, director of communications for TripAdvisor. "Two years ago it was tsunamis, last year hurricanes, and now tornadoes are the biggest concern, following the vicious twisters that affected Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado and South Dakota this May."
About TripAdvisor LLC
Tripadvisor, LLC, the largest travel community in the world, attracts more than 24 million monthly visitors (source: comScore Media Metrix, Digital Calculator Report, March 2007) across seven popular travel brands, TripAdvisor® sites, bookingbuddy.com™, cruisecritic.com™, seatguru.com™, smartertravel.com™, travelpod.com™ and travel- library.com™. Tripadvisor.com features real advice from real travelers, with more than 5 million unbiased reviews and opinions, covering 260,000+ hotels and attractions and operates sites in the U.S. (http://www.tripadvisor.com/) and in the U.K. (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/). The TripAdvisor® media network provides travel suppliers with graphical advertising opportunities and a cost-per-click marketing platform. Collectively, TripAdvisor® sites have won hundreds of awards and accolades from press and industry, worldwide. TripAdvisor, LLC is an operating company of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE).
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