More could travel this summer, says Clemson prof

A joint research project between Clemson University and Virginia Tech shows that travellers will not likely curtail their travels this summer from a year ago. In fact, in some cases, vacationers plan to travel even more. Assistant professor in Clemson’s parks, recreation and tourism department, Jeffrey Hallo, says that the economy has not adjusted many Americans plans to leave home for vacation travel.
“People actually said that they weren’t going to reduce they’re travel plans for the upcoming year,” said Hallo. “We were pretty interested in learning whether or not the economic problems that are going on right now would decrease the travel plans of the individuals and what we found out is that about half of the folks of who we surveyed said they they really wouldn’t reduce their travel at all and 15 percent actually said that they were going to increase their travel plans.”
Hallo says current gas prices will likely encourage travellers. “It seems that last summer with gas prices reaching higher than $4 a gallon, that people were staying at home–staycations–but with the decline in gas prices, I would expect that many people are now resuming their normal travel plans,” he said.
“Those would include distances further away from home.”
He says that this study is an indication of how important vacations are to the American family. According to Hallo, “Even though personal budgets are getting tighter and tighter, travel seems to be an area that people are less willing to give up. An individual might be more willing to give up daily personal expenses such as a cup of coffee here or there.
“What they want to maintain is that long vacation they have each year.”
Also, retirees may not be affected as much by the struggling economy and, therefore, they will continue to travel. “When an individual is on a fixed income such as many older Americans where they are drawing from a retirement plan that isn’t necessarily subject to the whims of the market right now, the amount that they have for travel will remain constant,” said Hallo. “Where as the younger families that are more subject to layoffs or other wild fluctuations in their income, might be more impacted by the economic problems.”

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