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Higher gas prices could alter summer travel plans, survey shows

March 27, 2012|By Hugo Martin
  • More than half of Americans say they may rethink their plans for summer road trips if gas prices continue to climb.
More than half of Americans say they may rethink their plans for summer road… (Los Angeles Times )

If fuel costs continue to rise, more than half of Americans said they may rethink their plans for summer road trips, according a new national survey.

For vacationers who plan to travel by car this summer, 54% said higher fuel costs would affect their vacation plans, according to a survey of 2,500 Americans by the U.S. Travel Assn., the trade group for the nation's travel industry.

If the price of a gallon of gas rises by at least 26 cents, 57% of those who plan to travel by car this summer said they would definitely alter their plans.

In response to higher fuel prices, 44% of would-be road warriors said they would travel less, 44% would spend less on shopping, 37% would spend less at restaurants, 36% would drive shorter distances and 35% would spend less on entertainment, according to the survey.

"If travelers are spending more on gas, they are spending less on hotels, attractions, shopping and restaurants, which could have a negative impact on our overall economy," said Roger Dow, chief executive of theĀ Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Travel Assn.

Higher fuel prices would not affect business travelers as severely, with only 27% of those with plans to travel for business this summer saying higher gasoline costs would affect them.

For Americans who plan to fly for summer leisure trips, 43% said rising air fares resulting from higher fuel costs could affect their plans, according to the survey. In response to higher air fares, nearly 40% of those planning to fly this summer said they would seek out cheaper flights.


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