Travel Leaders Group survey also identifies how far Americans will travel from home this year, whether they plan to spend more on travel and top “dream” destinations.

Plymouth, MN (April 9, 2013) – With “tax day” fast approaching, Travel Leaders Group asked Americans across the country if they would use any part of their tax refund to go on vacation and 43.8% of those polled say they would use some or all of that money for vacation travel.  The new survey results also reveal that over 94% of respondents have taken, or will take, at least one leisure trip in 2013, and their top dream trips include Australia internationally and Hawaii domestically. The survey includes responses from 1,788 consumers throughout the United States and was conducted by Travel Leaders Group – an $18 billion powerhouse in the travel industry – from March 15 to April 8, 2013.

“Americans are clearly bullish on travel once again with over 94% of our survey participants planning to travel for pleasure this year and a very significant number intending to use their tax refund to make their travel dreams a reality – that is clearly good news for our nation’s economy,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben. “Speaking of dreams, this survey also provides a window to the travel aspirations of Americans. The desire to see Australia remains incredibly strong – it has long been the top dream destination in our annual consumer survey. Once-in-a-lifetime trips can easily become a reality by consulting and planning with a certified, professional travel agent – in fact, a full quarter of all certified Aussie Specialists can be found within our flagship Travel Leaders agency brand alone.  Our experts are in the business because they are passionate about travel and have honed their skills to provide precisely the kind of expertise needed for such ‘dream’ trips.”

Key Statistics and Findings:

Tax Refund – Money for Travel

  • When asked, “If you receive a tax refund this year, will you be using any part of that money for vacation travel?” 43.8% of consumers polled say “Yes” while 56.2% say “No.”
  • For only those who indicated they would be receiving a tax refund and would use that money for travel, they were asked:“In 2012, the average tax refund was roughly $3,000.  Using that figure, if you were to receive a refund of $3,000 this year, how much of that money would you spend on travel?”

 

All of it

27.4%

$2,500 – $2,999

2.8%

$2,000 – $2,499

7.7%

$1,500 – $1,999

17.1%

$1,000 – $1,499

27.4%

$500 – $999

13.7%

$1 – $499

3.9%

 

Leisure Travel – Still a Priority

  • Over 94% of those polled say they “have or will take” at least one leisure trip this year.
  • Over 90% indicate that the total number of leisure trips they anticipate taking in 2013 will be either the same or more than last year (36.1% say “more” while 54.0% say “the same”).
  • Also, 83.4% of those polled state they will spend the same or more on leisure trips this year versus 2012 (39.7% will spend “more” and 43.7% will spend “the same” on their leisure trips as compared to last year).
  • Land or Cruise: When asked whether participants’ leisure trips were land-based, cruise-only or a combination of both, the results (compared to previous years) show:

2013

2012

2011

Land-based,   only.

59.9%

63.5%

77.3%

Cruise, only.

2.7%

2.3%

1.5%

Both land-based   and cruise vacations.

37.4%

34.3%

21.2%

 

  • Traveling Away from Home: With so many survey participants indicating they will take at least one leisure trip in 2013, it was also important to find out how far they are traveling from home.  Selecting all options that apply to their leisure trip(s) this year, their top responses were:

1

Travel within the U.S. and   farther than a bordering state

75.8%

2

Travel within your home   state

46.9%

3

Travel internationally   (Canada, Mexico and/or Caribbean)

44.1%

4

Travel to a bordering state

39.0%

5

Travel internationally   (Europe)

31.1%

6

Travel internationally   (South America)

6.4%

7

Travel internationally   (Asia)

5.5%

8

Travel internationally   (Central America)

5.4%

9

Travel Internationally   (Australia)

3.4%

10

Travel internationally   (South Pacific including New Zealand)

3.3%

 

The Dream “Down Under”

While only a fraction of consumers polled indicate they are headed to Australia this year (in the chart above), it remains the #1 “dream” international destination for U.S. travelers. The international travel dreams of Americans also include:

1

Australia

2

Italy

3

New Zealand

4

CRUISE – World

5

Fiji

6

Bora Bora

7

Ireland

8

Tahiti

9

CRUISE – Europe   (Mediterranean)

10

CRUISE – Europe   (River)

 

The U.S. Dream

When survey participants were asked, “If you could take a trip anywhere in the U.S., where would you choose to go?” the top choices include:

1

Hawaii

2

California

3

Alaska

4

Florida

5

New York

6

Arizona

7

Colorado

8

Washington

9

Maine

10

Nevada

 

This is the fifth consecutive year for this travel survey.  American consumers were engaged predominantly through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as through direct contact with travel clients for the following Travel Leaders Group companies: Nexion, Results! Travel, Travel Leaders, Tzell Travel Group and Vacation.com.

Travel Leaders Group is a leader in both the retail travel agency space and corporate travel, and it consistently ranks as one of the top travel companies nationwide. Most recently, Travel Leaders Group was again named among the Top 10 on the Travel Weekly Power List, #1 on the Business Travel News 2012 Business Travel Survey and #1 on Entrepreneur’s latest Franchise 500 list of full-service travel agency franchise businesses.

# # #

Travel Leaders Group (www.travelleadersgroup.com) is transforming travel with a commitment to our vacation and business travel clients via our progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Having already assisted millions of travelers – through our beginnings as Carlson Leisure Group, a division of Carlson Companies, TraveLeaders and Tzell Travel Group and through the additions of Nexion, Protravel International and Vacation.com – Travel Leaders Group manages leisure, business and franchise travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands. With sales of approximately $18 billion, Travel Leaders Group not only ranks as the #1 corporate travel management company by Business Travel News, but it is also among the top ten travel companies on the 2012 Travel Weekly Power List. In 2012, Entrepreneur ranked a Travel Leaders Franchise Brand #1 in the category of “Travel Agencies-Miscellaneous.”