Regions Central Virginia

Anticipated holiday travel spending to jump nearly 10 percent

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Travel spending will be up this holiday season, according to a report released Tuesday by Richmond-based Mondial Assistance USA. In its third annual Access America Vacation Confidence Index, Mondial says nearly six in ten Americans (or 57 percent) are confident they will take a holiday trip this year, up from 50 percent in 2010.

The increase in spending from more travelers would translate into nearly a $6 billion bump for the travel industry as holiday travel spending is expected to reach $65.2 billion, a 10 percent increase from last year.  “This year’s survey illustrates some good news for the travel industry,” Daniel Durazo, director of communications for Mondial Assistance, said in a statement. 

Overall, travelers intend to spend an average of $980 on holiday travel, down slightly from $1,040 budgeted last year.  However, with significantly more adults expecting to take a trip, overall spending will increase to $65.2 billion.  Other takeaways from the report:

Air travel wins big: While car travel is still the top mode of transportation (56 percent), more travelers intend to fly to their destinations this year. A third of travelers (34 percent) plan to fly up from 26 percent last year, and 27 percent in 2009.

Keeping it in the family: Holiday and family go hand-in hand, so it is not surprising that two thirds of parents with children under 18 reported that a holiday vacation is important.

Booking sooner rather than later: Nearly half (49 percent) of Americans plan on booking their travel at least two months in advance (compared to 42 percent in 2010) and nearly a quarter intend to book their trip between one and two months out.

The Access America Vacation Confidence Index is based on a telephone survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 randomly-selected adults aged 18 and over residing in the U.S. 

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