Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Americans Eager for Autumn Travel and Fall-ing Airfares

/PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor , the world's most popular and largest travel community, today announced its fall and Labor Day travel survey of more than 2,400 U.S. travelers. Eighty-four percent of travelers plan to take leisure trips this fall, up from 82 percent one year ago, and 43 percent said they will be traveling more this autumn than last.

(South) Carolina on My Mind

Below are the top 10 regions that the millions of travelers on TripAdvisor.com have been browsing in the past month, suggesting these may be some spectacular spots to see this fall.

Top 10 Most Browsed Regions on TripAdvisor in the Past Month

1. Coastal South Carolina
2. Jersey Shore
3. Florida Keys
4. Cape Cod
5. Southwest Gulf Coast
6. Florida Panhandle
7. Texas Gulf Coast
8. North Carolina Coast
9. Monterey Peninsula
10. Napa Valley

Sun-Shiny Airfares

Florida also looks to be a fall hotspot as five of the top 10 most-searched U.S. cities with airfares currently under $199 were in Florida.

Top 10 Most Searched Cities in August Currently with Airfares Under $199*

1. Orlando
2. Las Vegas
3. Fort Lauderdale
4. Tampa
5. Miami
6. Atlanta
7. New York
8. Denver
9. Fort Myers
10. Boston

Deal Me In

Sixty-nine percent of survey respondents said they are likely to take a spontaneous trip this fall if they found a great deal on a flight. Thirty-one percent said they'll probably book a trip this fall due to some of the great flights deals currently available, and 11 percent said they will definitely book a trip as a result of the recent favorable pricing. Thirty-three percent are putting off making fall travel plans until they find the right deal.

Laboring On

Thirty percent of respondents said they are traveling this coming Labor Day weekend, nearly equal to 31 percent one year ago. Seventy percent of travelers expect to drive to their destinations this Labor Day and 49 percent plan to travel more than 300 miles for the holiday.

Travelers Taking Two

The greatest percentage of travelers (42 percent) said they are planning two leisure trips this fall, and 32 percent said they are planning one leisure trip for the coming season.

Dollars and Sense

Thirty-eight percent of travelers said they'll spend more on their leisure travel this fall than last, while 44 percent said they expect to spend the same amount as a year ago.

Saving Grace

The number one way travelers plan to save money on their leisure travel this fall is by spending more time researching travel deals in advance, according to 45 percent. Thirty percent plan to save by eating at less expensive restaurants, 29 percent will save by staying with family, and 26 percent will visit free attractions.

Show Me the Maple

When asked what fall activities they will do this year, the most popular choice (44 percent) was viewing fall foliage. Here are the top five fall activities, according to the survey:

Top Five Fall Activities

1. View colorful fall foliage- 44%
2. Visit a state/county fair or fall festival- 28%
3. Go wine tasting/visit a vineyard- 26%
4. Go to a football game- 23%
5. Visit a beer festival/Oktoberfest- 14%

Other Fall Travel Tidbits
-- Twelve percent of travelers think the new airline passenger Bill of
Rights will make them more likely to fly this fall.
-- Fourteen percent think the H1N1 virus could affect their fall travel
-- Twenty-two percent think hurricane season could affect their fall
travel plans.

"Travelers are clearly excited about some great deals on flights this fall and sound ready to jump when the price is right," said Christine Petersen, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. "Based on what travelers are researching on TripAdvisor recently, it appears the Carolinas and Florida may be travel hot spots this fall."

*Reflects fares since August 1, 2009. Fares to these destinations from multiple origins in the U.S.

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