Trends Report, January 3, 2007. Airline fares increasing but spring break travel is looking strong, despite new passport regulations.
Just a day after the U.S. Government made passports a requirement for any citizen re-entering the country by air, Expedia.com unveiled the findings of their quarterly travel survey, Expedia Travel Trendwatch done in conjunction with Harris Interactive.
The January 2007 results show that new passport requirements won't likely slow travel to Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, or the Caribbean. In addition, the weakened U.S. dollar versus other currencies is a relatively small concern to those considering international travel.
Key travel trends and tips include:
1) Spring break is a popular time to travel every year:
16% of U.S. adults plan to travel by air more this spring than last spring
66% plan to travel by air as much as they did last spring
2) Airlines continue to raise fares despite declining fuel prices:
5-10% increase in fares to South Florida cities like Miami and Ft. Lauderdale
7-13% increase in fares to Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Cancun in Mexico
10-15% decrease in fares to Hawaii
3) Unseasonably warm temperatures in parts of the U.S. earlier this winter could mean deeper discounts in warm weather destinations like Florida and the Caribbean, and more interest in skiing and big-city trips. This season is on track to break the 2006 record of 59 million skier visits in a season, according to the National Ski Areas Association.
4) Despite a weak U.S. dollar and concern over new passport requirements, Americans are still traveling internationally.
38% are not at all influenced by the exchange rate when choosing a destination 74% of U.S. adults say that they are equally (68%) or more likely (6%) to travel to the areas recently affected by the new passport rules. 32% more passports will be issued in 2007 by U.S. State Department estimates.
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