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SURVEY INDICATES CONCERN THAT HURRICANES REDUCED THE QUALITY OF A VACATION TO FLORIDA OR HAWAII; BUT VALUES MAKE STATES IDEAL DESTINATIONS

 LISLE, Ill., Nov. 18 ~PRNewswire~ -- Two-thirds of Americans feel that recent hurricanes have reduced the quality of a vacation to Florida or Hawaii, according to a recent nationwide survey of consumers commissioned by Budget Rent a Car. Florida and Hawaii are two of the country's top travel destinations -- especially for Americans planning their holiday vacations and winter retreats -- but 35 percent of those polled said they do not feel they have sufficient post-hurricane information about tourism in either state to make an informed decision about traveling there.
 "The concerns expressed in the survey about the quality of travel to Florida and Hawaii may represent a major misperception," said Bill Plamondon, president and chief operating officer, Budget Rent a Car Corporation. "Damage to both states, while devastating, was isolated to a small area. In Florida, Hurricane Andrew damaged a 176-square-mile area out of the state's 58,560 total square miles. Similarly, Hurricane Iniki hit only the island of Kauai, bypassing the five other major Hawaiian islands," noted Plamondon. "Both states offer some of the best travel values, scenery and activities found anywhere in the world," Plamondon pointed out. "Now is a great time to visit."
 Despite concerns about the quality of a vacation to Florida or Hawaii, most travelers seemed to agree. According to Budget's survey, just 8 percent canceled a scheduled vacation to either Florida or Hawaii because of the hurricanes. And only 15 percent of the respondents were seriously discouraged or somewhat discouraged from making or keeping travel plans to visit either state in the next six months due to the hurricanes.
 Gary Stogner, public relations manager of the Florida Division of Tourism, isn't surprised by the survey results. "We are encouraged by the fact that 91 percent of future visitors have kept their Florida vacation plans," he said. "The survey underscores a high level of awareness that the visitor industry is alive and well in Florida and Greater Miami and the beaches."
 According to the Hawaii Visitors Bureau, almost all of the tourists scheduled to visit Kauai have decided to visit other Hawaiian islands instead. "People still want to see Hawaii," said Lindy Boes, a spokesperson for the bureau. "There are a lot of moderately priced hotels throughout the islands, and people do get their money's worth," she added. The good news is that some of the hotels on Kauai, the only island struck by the hurricane, are already back in limited operation, with others scheduled to reopen starting January.
 The Hawaii Visitors Bureau sent out an advisory to 25,000 travel agents starting in October with information on the condition of Kauai, and has established a toll-free number to handle questions from tourist and travel agents: 1-800-262-1400. Travel agents also can call the Kauai Fax Hotline at 1-800-OK-FAX-ME to obtain lists of hotel reopening dates, contact numbers, and other information.
 Tourists seeking current information about Florida can call the Division of Tourism at 904-487-1462. Tourists interested specifically in Miami can call
the Miami Visitors' Bureau at 1-800-283-2707. Travel agents can call 1-800-933-8448.
 The survey of a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults was conducted for Budget by the Opinion Research Corporation.
 Budget Rent a Car is the world's third-largest car and truck rental company with nearly 3,400 locations including more than 740 airport locations in over 110 countries and territories. Budget has more than 1,100 locations in the United States, including nearly 310 airport locations.
 -0- 11~18~92
 ~CONTACT: Sandra Allen of Budget Rent a Car, 708-955-7058, or Heidi Yeranossian of Ketchum Public Relations, 212-536-8712, for Budget Rent a Car~


CO: Budget Rent a Car Corporation ST: Illinois IN: LEI SU:

PS-AH -- NY032 -- 2350 11~18~92 12:27 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 18, 1992
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