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Auto Club Survey: Vacationers may defy gas prices

Jul 2, 2008 7:32 PM

Staff & Wire Reports | Although high gas prices have already been cited as a reason for a drop-off in visitors who drive to Las Vegas, the Automobile Club of Southern California reports its members are planning to take at least the same amount of vacation trips this summer compared to last year.

Moreover, 90 percent will make at least one out-of-town getaway, according to the new survey, while 41 percent of Auto Club members plan to travel about the same amount this summer as last year, and 26 percent plan to take more trips than last year; about 33 percent said they expected to take fewer trips.

"Record gas prices are definitely having an impact on our members, but summer vacations are still very important to them," said Bob Kane, the Auto Club’s vice president for district office operations. "People are finding ways to continue traveling."

When asked where they will be taking their next summer trip, other California cities were the most popular destinations, followed by Las Vegas, Florida and the East Coast.

Three-quarters of surveyed members stated that they expected to spend about the same amount or more on travel compared to last summer, while 25 percent said they expected to spend less.

Nearly ninety percent of Auto Club members surveyed said they plan to take at least one leisure trip this summer, while 11 percent are not planning any trips.

Auto Club members stated that the destination was the most important factor in planning their next trip, followed by cost, the available entertainment/recreation activities, the ease of reaching the destination and the recommendation of a friend or relative.

More than half of summer travelers said they planned to spend more than $1,000 on their next summer trip, while 31 percent expected to spend between $500 and $1,000, and 14 percent expected to spend less than $500.

Regarding the length of the trip, forty-two percent of surveyed members said their next trip will last between four and seven days, while 23 percent said the next trip will last three days or less, 22 percent said it would last between one and two weeks, and 12 percent planned a trip of more than two weeks.