Summer Travel Season Expected to Build Gradually

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- According to forecasts by the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA), Americans will take 275.4 million leisure person-trips during June, July and August 2003, an increase of 2.5% over last summer. A person-trip is one person on one trip traveling 50 miles or more from home, one way. Survey results are based on a representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adult travelers interviewed by telephone.

"The rather dramatic shifts that Americans have made in their travel preferences in the past 20 months, such as more driving trips, closer-to-home travel and more rural destinations, are still apparent," remarked Dr. Suzanne Cook, senior vice president of research and technology for the Travel Industry Association of America. "While we expect these trends to remain strong this summer, they may not be as exaggerated as we saw last year, reflecting Americans’ gradual return to their more traditional travel patterns."

Air travel will up about 1% this summer, primarily due to leisure travelers. The upturn may well signify the beginning of a recovery for the airline industry. Auto travel will, nevertheless, continue to be stronger than air, up more than 2%. RV travel is likely to remain very strong this summer.

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