The uncertain economy is not affecting the summer plans and spending habits of many Americans. A new study has found that vacationers are planning on spending an average of $3,136 during vacations this year, nearly double the 2010 average of $1,627. Additionally, nearly half of those who have planned vacations plan on spending more than $1,000, up from 34 percent in 2010.
Increased spending represents welcome news for the economy at large and the travel industry specifically. The United States Travel Association estimated leisure trips and vacations pumped $526 billion into the economy in 2010.
Even though respondents will be spending more on vacations, fewer people will be taking a vacation this summer. Overall, 44 percent of Americans said the economy has no bearing on their decision to take a vacation this summer, up 4 percent from 2010. Six in 10 adults, however, planned at least one trip through August, which was down from 2009 and 2010 numbers.
The research also found that one reason stands out among those not planning on enjoying some rest and relaxation on a vacation this summer. Nearly half of the respondents said that high gas prices may impact their travel plans, while just 35 percent said gas prices will have no bearing on their summer plans.
"While consumers are not necessarily planning on taking more vacations this summer as compared to last, when they do take vacation, they plan on spending more," said Allison Powell, research director at Harris Interactive, which conducted the research. "Despite the uncertainty in the economy, people need their vacation time and this is a good thing for the travel industry. They seem to have changed their marketing strategy to reflect this and, since the numbers have held mostly steady year over year, American travelers are paying attention and responding."
The information in this research was based on the responses of 2,634 adults. The research was conducted for the Harris Poll by Harris Interactive.