Latest News
HomeAssociationsTIA forecasts record breaking summer travel season
Travel Industry Association of America

TIA forecasts record breaking summer travel season

Despite rising prices, Americans will be traveling in record numbers this summer with Florida, California, Nevada and New York the top preferred destinations…

Despite rising prices, Americans will be traveling in record numbers this summer with Florida, California, Nevada and New York the top preferred destinations. Every sector of the travel industry will be up, up, up, according to Dr. Suzanne Cook, senior vice president of research for the Travel Industry Association of America. The momentum in travel recovery that began in earnest last year is continuing into the summer with a 2.3 percent increase in leisure travel. That means that Americans will take 328 million leisure person-trips during June, July and August 2005. A person-trip is one person traveling 50+ miles, one-way, away from home.

While travel prices are up in the first three months of 2005, this will not discourage Americans from taking trips, but they will be looking for deals and ways to economize without giving up their summer vacations.

Planes will be full this summer as Americans return to the skies, continued Dr. Cook. Air travel continues its strong recovery, with volume expected to increase 4 percent this summer. Despite high gas prices, RV travel is expected to remain very strong this summer having enjoyed double digit increases year after year since 9/11.

While the number of trips is up, the number of nights away from home continues to decline from 7.6 nights last summer to 7 nights this summer on their longest leisure trip. Travelers plan on spending an average of $1,019 on their longest leisure trip this summer, a decrease of 7 percent from summer 2004 ($1,101). Again, what we see here is a trend to take more trips during the year of shorter duration. So while the spending per trip is down, the number of trips is up, continued Cook.

Three out of four Americans plan to visit friends and relatives this summer, two thirds will be at a beach and/or visiting small towns and rural areas. Over a third will be traveling with children.

Summer 2005 highlights

  • Many trips will include children this summer, with 37 percent of travelers taking kids on their longest trip. Six percent will include a grandchild
  • Traveling with one`s spouse is also popular (55%), as is traveling with other family members (19%) and traveling with friends (13%). Seven percent will travel with their parents and 8 percent will travel solo
  • The top three planned activities are visiting friends and relatives (75%), going to a beach or lake (70%) and visiting small towns or rural areas (64%)
  • Rounding out the top ten summer traveler activities are: visiting cities/urban areas (54%), visiting national or state parks (47%), visiting historic sites (41%), camping, hiking or climbing (38%), fishing (36%), attending a family reunion (35%), or attending performing arts events (34%)
  • What else will summer travelers be doing? One-third plan on visiting museums (33%), theme parks (31%), gambling casinos (26%) or attending cultural events such as ethnic festivals (24%)
  • Seventeen percent of summer travelers plan to use an RV, while 16 percent intend to enjoy an all-inclusive resort. Sixteen percent plan on traveling outside the U.S. and 10 percent say they plan to take a cruise