SALESFUEL TODAY

U.S. Travel Spending Expected to Grow in 2010

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While trav­el spend­ing in the U.S. saw a decline of 9% in 2009, Mintel expects to see more peo­ple tak­ing off in the new decade with a 6% increase in trav­el spend­ing expect­ed for 2010.

"In the com­ing years, the trav­el indus­try needs to pay atten­tion to how the eco­nom­ic down­turn is affect­ing this mar­ket," said Mark Guar­i­no, senior ana­lyst at Mintel. "The growth will be slow and will main­ly stem from reduced prices on hotels, rental cars and air­lines, all try­ing to get hes­i­tant con­sumers to trav­el again."

Accord­ing to a recent sur­vey from Mintel, near­ly two-thirds (65%) of respon­dents could not afford a trip in 2009, while one-third say they need­ed to save mon­ey instead.

Despite the ris­ing gas prices that start­ed in 2008, 70% of Amer­i­cans cit­ed the car as the most pop­u­lar mode of trans­porta­tion when going on a domes­tic vaca­tion. Air trav­el came in a dis­tant sec­ond with only 32% of respon­dents choos­ing this method of trav­el.

Mark Guar­i­no notes: "Clear­ly, air trav­el is quick­er, espe­cial­ly when going long dis­tances. How­ev­er, auto­mo­tive trav­el is con­sid­ered more afford­able, safer and com­fort­able in light of secu­ri­ty threats, high air­line prices, tick­et­ing and bag­gage fees and long lines that have become the norm at most major air­ports."

Of those trav­el­ing, only 9% of respon­dents trav­eled for busi­ness pur­pos­es. The low per­cent­age of busi­ness trav­el­ers may reflect a reac­tion to the tough econ­o­my. Com­pa­nies want­i­ng to cut cor­ners tend to cut trav­el bud­gets. In addi­tion, the rise of video con­fer­enc­ing has proven to be a more afford­able alter­na­tive that may fur­ther reduce the need for busi­ness trav­el in com­ing years.

Sur­vey con­duct­ed by Mintel, Feb­ru­ary 17, 2010.  Web­site: www​.mintel​.com.