Travelers plan more breaks, spending: poll

Mon Feb 7, 2011 12:48pm EST
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By David Sheppard

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Despite high unemployment and a slow recovery more people are planning to travel this year and they expect to spend more money than they did in 2010, according to a new report

Thirty five percent of 1,403 consumers surveyed by travel website said they will increase their travel in 2011, and only one percent said they do not plan to go anywhere, compared to four percent last year.

"Judging from the number of respondents who say they intend to both travel and spend more in the coming year, the travel industry could see continued growth in 2011," said Hugh Jones, president and CEO of Travelocity Global.

More than a quarter of people said they would spend $2,000 or more on their holidays this year, up from 20 percent in 2010. While roughly half expect to keep their travel budget largely unchanged from last year, 37 percent said they will dig deeper into their pockets in 2011.

The survey will be welcomed by airlines battling higher oil prices and travel agents concerned that unrest in popular holiday destinations like Egypt and Tunisia might deter vacationers this year.

While the percentage of those planning to increase their travel in 2011 didn't grow as strongly as it did last year, when 49 percent of people said they aimed to travel more as the economy rebounded, those planning to reduce their travel fell.

This year, just 5 percent of people plan on traveling less, down from 7 percent in 2010.

Airfares are about 8 percent higher this year, according to Travelocity, but 34 percent of respondents to the poll said they intended to spend more on their flights, slightly more than the number planning to splash out more on hotels.   Continued...

<p>A tourist enjoys the sun at a resort in Bavaro, Dominican Republic, October 2, 2007. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz</p>