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Florida regains top spot among leisure travel destinations in US

7 June, 2007

Florida has regained its position as United States’ most-preferred vacation destination, a survey of travel trends has shown.

Florida had fallen to the second place in the wake of two devastating hurricane seasons.

Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell, a travel marketing and research company based in central Florida, has said that nearly a third of all leisure travelers are interested in visiting Florida sometime during the next two years.

In 2006, California had topped the list of favored destinations.

The 2007 National Leisure Travel Monitor surveyed 1,882 active travelers. The survey shows that most people in the United States are ready and willing to travel, but they find they have little time to take a trip.

In 2006, six in 10 Americans have traveled at least 75 miles from home and stayed overnight somewhere.

The survey suggested that lack of money is less of a deterrent to travel in 2007 than in 2006. Family budgetary considerations slipped from the second-most-important to the third-most-important reason for not travelling.

A third of those surveyed said they plan to take more trips in 2007 than in 2006, compared with 26% who said they would take fewer trips.

Shorter getaways – those of four nights or less – remain the most popular, reflecting Americans’ rather small allotments of vacation time.

The typical employed person in the United States has 14 days off, the survey said. In Canada, the typical adult has 26 days off, and in Italy, it is 42 days.

Most domestic travellers in the United States (56%) spend their vacation visiting friends and relatives, 27% said they prefer vacations at lakes or beaches, and 21% preferred general sightseeing. Theme-park vacations ranked behind six other alternatives, with 11%.

The study reaffirmed research that gasoline prices are significant only when they exceed $3.50 a gallon.

More people are using the internet to plan travel. The survey found that 66% of leisure travellers who use airlines and stay in hotels now use the internet to plan vacations, and 56% book online. By comparison, in 2000, only 35% used the internet to do travel research, and 18% used it to make reservations.





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