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NEW YORK (Reuters) - With the deadline for filing individual U.S. tax returns nearing next week, Americans are planning how they will spend their refunds and more than half plan to use at least some of the money on travel.
About 57 percent of the nearly 1,000 people questioned in a national poll said part of their refund would be used for a trip, and despite the sluggish economic recovery, 83 percent said they will spend as much or more on travel this year as they did in 2010.
The ultimate destination for many Americans questioned in the Travel Leaders' survey was Australia, followed by Italy, Ireland, New Zealand and cruising in the Mediterranean.
"It is clear that when Americans dream about travel, they dream big. Australia continues to be the ultimate dream international destination," said Roger E. Block, the president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group.
So far the average refund for 2010 tax returns is $3,070, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which is the U.S. tax collection agency.
Nearly 90 percent of people questioned in the poll said they have or will take at least one leisure trip this year and 62 percent have already taken a holiday. The top U.S. states to travel to were Florida, California and New York.
Three quarters said they planned to take a trip within the United States and 41 percent had intentions to go abroad, including Canada, Mexico and/or the Caribbean.