Hotwire Survey Reveals that 21% of American Adults Spend as Much as $197
Billion on Obligation Travel
Latest 'Where to Go Now & How Guide' Points to Affordable Spring Destinations
for Travelers Juggling Both Mandatory and Leisure Travel
SAN FRANCISCO, April 3, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO, April 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With wedding season fast
approaching, Hotwire.com, a leading discount travel site, today revealed more
results from its second annual American Travel Behavior Survey, conducted
online on its behalf by Harris Interactive in October 2012 among over 2,000
U.S. adults. According to the survey, during the last 12 months, 21 percent of
American adults spent as much as $197 Billion on trips they felt obliged to
take. Furthermore, 48 percent of Americans spent money on obligation trips to
weddings of family and friends during the same time period and were
anticipating they would do the same next season. With so much money allocated
to obligatory travel, travelers may be thinking about putting off the fun
trips they want to take because they believe they won't be able to afford
them. The good news is the travel experts at Hotwire have compiled a Where to
Go Now & How Guide to the top five affordable and fun destinations for spring,
so even if travelers have to attend a wedding or some other obligatory event
this season, they should look to one of the following destinations for more
"We know Americans across the country are using large portions of their travel
budgets so they can make it to all those 'must see' moments in life like
weddings, reunions, birthdays and major holidays," said Clem Bason, president
of the Hotwire Group. "Fortunately, obligation trips don't have to come at the
cost of leisure travel if you have the right resource guiding you toward
savings. We're offering deep discounts to a variety of locations so that this
year you can comfortably afford both the must-go and must-have trips."
Here are the top five destinations for some leisure fun in Hotwire's spring
2013 Where to Go Now & How Guide:
Washington, DC – catch the capital in bloom at a discounted price
Why Now: Many folks head to beach hot-spots like the Caribbean during spring,
but that means other locations, like our nation's capital, are dropping prices
to attract travelers. In addition, with the government sequester reducing
budgets and sizes of political meetings, hotels are discounting even more to
fill rooms left unfilled by officials. Spring also happens to be one of the
best times to visit DC as the city has ideal weather and plenty of events.
Attending one of the many springtime wine festivals, taking a tour through
Washington Cathedral's spring garden or making a quick 45-minute drive to
Sandy Point State Park are ways to make a richly diverse getaway.
Value: Bargains abound in DC, with daily rates averaging around $100 per
night. That's down 5% from last year, making this the prime time for a visit
to the Washington Metropolitan area.
How: Sample Air/Hotel Package Deal: 3.5-star hotel in the Silver Spring area
and RT airfare from JFK for $245 per person (rate reflects searches on 3/26/13
for travel dates of 4/11/13 – 4/13/13).
Chicago, IL – wind down in the Windy City at a fraction of the cost
Why Now: Beginning in April and running through summer, Chicago experiences
one of its most bustling times of year. However, when visiting during the
earlier months of spring, you can score some great deals and partake in some
wonderful activities all while avoiding the summer crowds. And this summer is
expected to be quite busy, so visiting over the next couple months should net
you lots of savings. Travelers who visit Chicago this season can catch a
Chicago Bulls game, check out a Picasso at the Art Institute of Chicago or
head over to the Lincoln Park Conservatory to catch a glimpse of the annual
Spring Flower Show. Those looking for an outdoor escape will find respite in
the Indiana Dunes State Park, which is just a short drive away. The park
consists of 2,182 acres of indulgent sun, sand and greenery.
Value: Prices are down 5% from this time last year. That means nightly rates
are averaging around $81—a steal for Chicago any time of year, but especially
now with so much going on.
How: Sample Air/Hotel Package Deal: 4-star hotel in the Downtown Chicago –
Millennium Park area and RT airfare from JFK for $387 per person (rate
reflects searches on 3/26/13 for travel dates of 4/11/13 – 4/13/13).
Vancouver, BC – tour Canada's Terminal City for less
Why Now: Vancouver is easy to fly to from most major U.S. airports, and is
only a few-hour drive from Seattle. The snow might be gone in the main part of
the city, but the temperatures are usually not warm enough for it to dissipate
in the mountainous areas just outside Vancouver. This means that travelers
looking for one more ski trip to a world-class mountain can capitalize on very
reasonable rates. And if the snow isn't great on any given day, visitors can
easily stay downtown instead and enjoy all the city has to offer. Once spring
comes in April, there are plenty of other outdoor activities for folks to
enjoy. Take in the scenery at the Stanley Park Rose Garden, which is in full
bloom through the beginning of April, or hop on board a whale-watching tour to
catch migrating gray whales on the move. Those looking to escape the city can
head to Harrison Hot Springs at the edge of southwestern British Columbia's
largest lake, which is just under two hours away by car. The drive is well
worth it for those who enjoy windsurfing, parasailing, kayaking or
kicking-back in the mineral springs.
Value: Rooms are averaging $87 per night. Those rates are down 8% from last
year, making this an opportune time to visit this jewel in the Pacific
How: Sample Air/Hotel Package Deal: 4-star hotel in the Vancouver Downtown
Shopping and Entertainment District area and RT airfare from SFO for $489.18
per person (rate reflects searches on 3/26/13 for travel dates of 4/11/13 –
Dominican Republic – celebrate spring break in the sun and save
Why Now: Travelers looking for a spring beach destination that won't empty
pockets or drop them into a crowd of countless spring breakers should head to
the Dominican Republic. This tropical island is not necessarily top of mind to
many spring break travelers, so hotels in the area are dropping rates in order
to attract beachgoers. And another benefit of flying under the radar is that
unlike other Caribbean destinations that attract the raucous crowds, the
Dominican Republic keeps pretty quiet, providing tourists with rest and
relaxation without the sky-high prices. Beach-bound visitors to the Dominican
Republic will be treated to a bounty of sun-kissed hot spots, including Punta
Cana, Boca Chica and Punta Rucia. While there, you can also take in the beauty
of the island by going on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the city of
Santiago, checking out the whales in Samana or visiting the national park on
nearby Saona Island, which is just a short boat ride away.
Value: This year, Easter falls earlier than normal, causing a slower start to
the prime tourist season and affording great deals to customers. The average
daily rate is currently around $130—a steal for the Dominican any time of
How: Sample Air/Hotel Package Deal: 4-star hotel in the Santo Domingo area and
RT airfare from JFK for $545.50 per person (rate reflects searches on 3/26/13
for travel dates of 4/11/13 – 4/13/13).
Turkey – roam free for less in the new Rome
Why Now: Over the past few years, Turkey has certainly grown a lot in
popularity. However, with the recent European financial crisis playing out,
many locals are holding off on regional travel plans, which have affected
prices across the board in the area. Currently, some of the best deals can be
found in this amazing European destination. Strong competition among hotels
has been driving rates lower during one of the most pleasant times to visit
Turkey. This means that many travelers can check one of their dream
destinations off the list, all while scoring huge savings, beating the summer
heat, and avoiding big crowds. When visiting Istanbul, travelers may want to
check out the Basilica Cistern, the largest of a series of ancient underground
water reservoirs. Those interested in shopping may want to stop by the Grand
Bazaar, an ancient maze of more than 3,000 shops established more than 500
years ago. For those looking to escape the city, the Princes' Islands offer a
scenic seaside escape, and are just a quick ferry ride away from Istanbul.
Value: The average daily rate in Antalya, a beautiful, coastal city in
southwestern Turkey, is a stunning $35 per night, while Istanbul is averaging
a very reasonable $113 per night.
How: Sample Air/Hotel Package Deal: 4-star hotel in the Istanbul area and RT
airfare from JFK for $855.90 per person (rate reflects searches on 3/26/13 for
travel dates of 4/18/13 – 4/20/13).
*Average daily rates are based on Hot Rate hotel bookings across all star
categories made on Hotwire.com on 3/26/13 for specified dates in spring 2013.
Harris Interactive^® fielded the study on behalf of Hotwire from October
15-17, 2012 among 2,133 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, October 18-22, 2012
among 2,082 U.S. adults ages 18 and older and on October 23-25, 2012 among 2,
096 U.S. adults ages 18 and older via its QuickQuery^SM online omnibus
service, interviewing 2,133 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. This data
were weighted to reflect the composition of the general adult population. No
estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology
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 21% of American adults ages 18+ spent between $1 - $4,000 on all
obligation trips between October 2011 – October 2012. Using census data, we
calculated that (.21) x 234.6M (total U.S. pop age 18+) = 49.3 million
American adults spent between $1 - $4,000 on all obligation trips between
October 2011 – October 2012. Furthermore, from this we took the maximum amount
spent by each American in this group to conclude that 21% of American adults
spent up to $197.2 billion ($4,000 x 49.3M = $197.2 Billion maximum).
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