Summer Travel Season: 2011 Vacationers Say They Just Need a Break

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Fuel Prices Will Impact Plans This Season; “Staycations” Poised to Play a Significant Role

Burst Media, (http://www.BurstMedia.com), a leading seller of targeted Internet audiences to brand and performance advertisers, today released the results of a survey covering summer vacation plans. Conducted in early May, the survey of more than 3,700 online U.S. adults aged 18 or older revealed that one-half (49.9%) of respondents plan to take a vacation or personal trip this coming summer—a finding unchanged from a similar study last year (50.0% in 2010). Among respondents who plan on taking a summer vacation in 2011, one-third (30.7%) will take more trips this summer versus last, 41.8% will take the same and 11.2% say they will take fewer.

One-third (35.5%) of respondents who plan to travel more this summer say they will take more time off because they “just need a break.” Other reasons vacationers are taking more trips this summer include having more time to take off (26.3%), stronger personal/family finances (19.0%) and the need to make up for not taking enough time last year (15.0%). Conversely, of respondents who are taking fewer vacations this year, economic reasons (44.1%), personal/family finances (34.5%) and busy schedules (27.9%) top this list. Interestingly, men outpace women (35.2% versus 16.0%) with feeling “too busy” this summer.

There are concerns with rising fuel costs, as 52.1% of all respondents say gas prices will definitely or probably impact their summer vacation plans. The traditional family vacation may be one victim of fuel prices as one-third (34.9%) of respondents with three or more people in the household (i.e., families with children at home) say the cost of gas will definitely impact their plans, versus 26.5% of households with one or two people.

The Burst survey also revealed one-third (31.7%) of respondents plan to take a “staycation” this summer—a vacation where they stay at home rather than travel. Interestingly, one-half (50.4%) of respondents who say they are not planning to take a vacation or personal trip this summer do say they will take a “staycation.” Not surprisingly, saving money (43.7%) is the leading reason for “staycations” among all respondents. Other reasons include catching up on house/home projects (25.6%), family activities/obligations (17.8%) and plans to visit local attractions or engage in local activities (16.1%). Nearly one-half (47.5%) of “staycationers” with a HHI of $75,000 or more say they need to catch up on house/home projects and nearly one-third (30.4%) cite family obligations.

Nearly one-half (46.9%) of respondents planning to vacation this summer have yet to make a travel-related purchase (e.g., tickets and/or hotel rooms) for their trips. A vast majority (83.7%) of summer travelers will use the Internet this season to plan their vacations, with nearly one-half (45.9%) saying it will be the primary way they will make their plans. Social media (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) will also have an influence in the purchasing decisions of summer travelers: overall, 45.0% say friend or follower recommendations on social channels influence travel-related purchases. Not surprisingly, the impact of social media declines as age segments get older: dropping from 57.1% among respondents aged 18-34 to 45.3% among the 35-54 year segment, and declining further to 23.5% among respondents 55 years and older.

“Our study revealed significant opportunity for marketers in the upcoming summer holiday season,” said Mark Kaefer, Marketing Director for Burst Media. “Whether the itinerary is to travel far or just to stay at home and relax, consumers will go to their favorite websites to make their plans. This is the time for travel advertisers, local merchants, and even CPG advertisers to get online and engage their potential customers.”

About Burst Media

An online media and technology company founded in 1995, Burst Media (http://www.BurstMedia.com) partners with long tail web publishers to build their businesses and make the most of the quality niche content they produce. Through our media divisions, we represent one of the broadest and deepest offerings of interest-based websites—and deliver the value of this long tail, vertical content directly to brands that want to reach loyal, highly segmented audiences. We also market adConductor™, our ad management platform, to help online media companies and web portals manage the complete process of ad sales and service. Burst Media is a wholly owned subsidiary of blinkx PLC (BLNX:L AIM), the world’s largest and most advanced video search engine. We are headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, with offices throughout the United States and in London. Visit http://www.BurstMedia.com or call 781.852.5200 for more information.

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Contact:    
Mark Kaefer
Burst Media
781.852.5283
press@burstmedia.com

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Emilie Johnson
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