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Summer Travel Forecast Sunny For U.S. Travelers

86 Percent Will Travel for Leisure This Summer Compared to 81 Percent in 2011

Declining Gas Prices Lead One in Ten to Travel More by Car This Summer

NEWTON, Mass., May 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today announced the results of its annual summer travel survey of more than 1,800 U.S. respondents. Eighty-six percent of travelers are planning leisure trips this summer, up from 81 percent that traveled last summer.

To view the multimedia assets associated with this release, please click: http://www.multivu.com/mnr/49265-tripadvisor-summer-travel-survey-2012-leisure-trips

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A separate survey of more than 1,200 U.S. respondents showed that recently declining gas prices will not have an effect on leisure travel plans this summer, according to 86 percent of U.S. respondents.  However, 10 percent now expect to take more trips by car this summer as a direct result of lower prices at the pumps.

Summertime Shell-Out

  • More than a quarter of travelers surveyed (27 percent) said they will spend more on leisure summer travel than they did in 2011, while 47 percent plan to spend the same amount as last year, and 26 percent expect to spend less.
  • 70 percent will stay at a hotel this summer, up three percent from 2011, 31 percent will stay at the home of family or friends, and 20 percent will spend their time in a vacation rental home.
  • Of those going on summer trips this year, 70 percent will be traveling by car and 64 percent will be taking to the skies.
  • If it meant saving a bundle on airfare, 21 percent would be willing to drive more than 10 hours to their summer destination.
  • 79 percent would take a spontaneous trip this summer if they found a great deal.

Memorial Day in Motion

  • More than one-third of U.S. respondents (34 percent) plan to travel for Memorial Day weekend, up eight percent from 2011.
  • Of those traveling this Memorial Day, 70 percent will get there by car. Twenty-seven percent of those traveling by car will travel between 100 and 200 miles to their getaway spot, 19 percent will go 50-100 miles and 17 percent will drive more than 500 miles.

Summer Hotspots

The top five most popular summer destination types this year, according to U.S. travelers:

    1. City – 58%
    2. Ocean – 41%
    3. National park – 20%
    4. Lake – 18%
    5. Resort – 16%  
  • 40 percent said the main reason for visiting their destination is due to tradition or because it's a favorite place, while 27 percent are going for a new experience/to see a new place.
  • According to the respondents, New York City, Las Vegas, and Chicago are the three most popular U.S. destinations for summer travel this year.
  • 35 percent of U.S. travelers are planning an international leisure trip this summer.

U.S. regions travelers are planning to visit this summer:

    1. Northeast – 35%
    2. West – 31%
    3. Southeast – 30%
    4. Midwest – 22%
    5. Southwest – 17%

Fun in the Sun

  • Travelers will enjoy some active recreation during their leisure travel this summer. Hiking is the most popular activity (31 percent), followed by water sports (25 percent).
  • 41 percent of respondents said while on vacation they plan to visit a historical site or landmark, 15 percent will attend a concert, and 12 percent will treat themselves to a food festival.

"The majority of U.S. travelers are committed to their leisure summer travel plans, whether gas prices are up or down," said Karen Drake, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor. "Even if it takes cutting back on mileage and staying closer to home, the vast majority of Americans will take summer trips."

About TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 50 million unique monthly visitors*, and over 60 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to TripAdvisor's millions of monthly visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 19 other travel media brands, and together the sites attract more than 69 million unique monthly visitors**. TripAdvisor's travel media brands include www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.onetime.comwww.seatguru.com, www.sniqueaway.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travel-library.com, www.travelpod.com, www.virtualtourist.com, www.whereivebeen.com, and www.kuxun.cn.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, Worldwide, January 2012

**Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Inc. and its subsidiaries, Worldwide, January 2012

©2012 TripAdvisor, Inc. All rights reserved.

SOURCE TripAdvisor