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FLEISHMAN-HILLARD SURVEY: VACATION TRAVEL TO REBOUND TO PRE-RECESSION LEVELS IN 1992

 FLEISHMAN-HILLARD SURVEY: VACATION TRAVEL TO REBOUND
 TO PRE-RECESSION LEVELS IN 1992
 NEW YORK, Dec. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- American vacationers who stayed home in 1991 due to war and recession worries plan to take as many leisure trips in 1992 as they did in 1990, according to a nationwide poll conducted by Fleishman-Hillard, Inc., a leading public relations agency and travel marketer.
 The telephone poll conducted in November, which has a sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, surveyed 750 randomly selected respondents who had taken at least one vacation by airplane or cruise ship in 1990 or 1991.
 "Most importantly, the survey indicates that, despite the recession, sophisticated travelers are once again regarding vacation trips as a necessity, as one of life's essentials," said Bill Colon, senior vice president and travel industry strategist at Fleishman-Hillard. "That's a hopeful sign for the industry, and a shot in the arm for the sluggish U.S. economy."
 Eight out of 10 (81 percent) respondents indicate that they plan to take at least one vacation trip by air or cruise ship in 1992, an average of 1.7 trips, which approximates their pattern in 1990 (86 percent). Among the respondents, 30 percent say they'll travel internationally in 1992 (as did 32 percent in 1990). The Caribbean is expected to draw 45 percent of these international travelers; Europe, 38 percent; Mexico, 19 percent; and Hawaii, 13 percent.
 Among these elite travelers, there was a 13 percent decrease in pleasure trips from 1990 to 1991. International travel was particularly affected, registering a 25 percent decrease, with only 24 percent of vacation travelers taking a flight or cruise outside the continental United States in 1991 compared to 32 percent in 1990.
 "Not only did vacation travel decrease in 1991," Colon said, "but vacation plans also changed, particularly due to the recession." In fact, 13 percent of pleasure travelers surveyed substituted an auto or bus vacation for one including a flight or cruise, while 6 percent canceled their trips altogether.
 Clearly, travelers were influenced by several factors in 1991. Of the 20 percent of respondents who changed their vacation plans in 1991, almost two-thirds (62 percent) cited "financial concerns" as the primary reason. "Job uncertainty" was cited by almost one in five respondents (19 percent), while 32 percent mentioned family problems or concern about safety and terrorism.
 The poll showed the most popular seasons to take flying or cruise trips in 1992 will be summer (41 percent) and spring (40 percent), followed by winter (31 percent) then fall (27 percent).
 In addition to chartering the behavior of travelers, the survey examined the general attitudes of respondents toward travel, breaking them out into three distinct categories:
 "Experience Seekers," representing 34 percent of the sample, have the highest income, are the least price-sensitive, and consider travel a priority. The likeliest international travelers, "Experience Seekers" are willing to travel long air distances, and try to visit one new destination each year.
 "Price Sensitive" travelers, accounting for 53 percent of the sample, have grown more conservative in their travel plans. Only one-fourth of the "Price Sensitive" group are international travelers. Enthusiasts on a budget, this group weighs price, value, and recommendations from travel agents and friends in choosing destinations.
 "Prefer the Familiar" travelers, 12 percent of the sample, do tend to travel but avoid foreign countries and any long-distance destination. The do not seek new destinations, nor is travel a priority.
 "The attitudes show that the travel industry is not unlike other businesses operating in difficult economic times. The biggest group of travelers, the 'Price Sensitive,' want to travel but have become more conservative and must be won over by quality and competitive pricing. Size makes the group the target for travel marketing efforts and value is what the group wants," said Colon.
 The survey sample was evenly divided among all regions of the United States as well as between men and women, 25 percent of whom are between the ages of 18 and 34, 37 percent between the ages of 35 and 54, and 39 percent 55 years of age or older. Almost half of the respondents have a household income of $50,000 or more. The poll is available by calling Jeff Moran at 212-265-9150.
 Fleishman-Hillard, Inc., headquartered in St. Louis, has eight U.S. branches and offices or affiliates in Mexico and throughout Europe and Asia. The firm's travel industry clients include airlines, destinations, theme parks, and hotel chains.
 -0- 12/23/91
 /CONTACT: Jeff Moran, Melody Kimmel or Dan Wilhelm of Fleishman- Hillard, 212-265-9150/ CO: Fleishman-Hillard, Inc. ST: New York IN: LEI SU: ECO


JT-FC -- NY057 -- 4899 12/23/91 14:49 EST
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Date:Dec 23, 1991
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