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POSITIVE SIGNS FOR THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY IN PEOPLE'S VACATION PLANS FOR 1992

 POSITIVE SIGNS FOR THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY IN
 PEOPLE'S VACATION PLANS FOR 1992
 CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- There are some encouraging signs of rebound and recovery for the travel and tourism industry this year, with a 36 percent increase in the number of Americans planning to travel on vacation this year, compared to 1991. This is one of the key findings in the fifth nationwide travel trends survey conducted by American Express Travel Related Services and Arthur D. Little.
 The survey polled a representative sample of 1,009 Americans about their vacation plans for 1992. Seventy-six percent of the respondents said they plan to take one or more vacation trips of three or more days, and 56 percent of those people hope to take two or more trips.
 Of those with household incomes above $50,000 a year, almost all (92 percent) will take one or more vacations this year. Eighty percent will take two or more trips and more than half (53 percent) will enjoy at least three vacations.
 "We predict that by the end of this year, the 'R' word that has dominated this industry will shift from recession to recovery," says Harry Foden, an Arthur D. Little management consultant who heads the Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality Consulting Group.
 Another piece of good news from the American Express/Arthur D. Little survey is that consumers also plan to spend more money on their vacations. In fact, 43 percent of vacationers said they will spend more than last year, 32 percent will spend approximately the same amount.
 "Travel has become an essential part of people's lives and ranks high on their list of family priorities," says Tommaso Zanzotto, president of American Express Travel Related Services International. "As such, a return to looking forward to traveling is a positive indicator for a general return in consumer confidence."
 Among the reasons people gave for planning to spend more, the most frequent is the fact that they are planning to take more vacations. They also plan to trade up on quality by taking more expensive vacations and traveling to more distant destinations.
 However, signaling a note of caution, one in five of those surveyed say they intend to cut back on their vacation budgets with 15 percent of those questioned planning fewer trips than last year. Concerns over the economy and personal financial pressures are the main reasons.
 The average amount estimated per household to be spent in total vacation travel in 1992 is $2,500, with almost one in five (18 percent) prepared to spend $4,000-plus.
 -0- 3/16/92
 /CONTACT: Jane E. Morris of Arthur D. Little, Inc., 617-864-5770; or David Barnes of American Express, 212-640-2915/ CO: Arthur D. Little; American Express Travel Related Services ST: Massachusetts IN: LEI SU:


TM-PB -- NE004 -- 8120 03/16/92 08:36 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 16, 1992
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