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Travelers Unlikely to Skip Vacations Due to Gas Prices

Category: RV News
Source: Dayton Daily News
Publish Date: Thursday, May 24, 2007
Summary: Travel organizations say people may plan shorter trips and find other ways to reduce costs this summer.

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By John Nolan
Staff Writer

Thursday, May 24, 2007

DAYTON — Record-high gasoline prices, highway traffic jams, orange-barrel construction zones ... they won't keep people from traveling this summer, travel organizations say.

People are more likely to adjust by taking shorter drives to vacation destinations, eating out on fewer occasions, or putting less stuff into their recreation vehicles to reduce weight and get better gas mileage, according to the travel organizations.

Surveys by the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association and AAA, formerly the American Automobile Association, show that people will reshape their vacation plans to adjust when costs go up, but they still take the trips.

"People just don't cancel vacations, particularly family vacations," said Ray Keyton, executive vice president for AAA Miami Valley.

Amy Broerman and her family traveled by air to Orlando, Fla., in March so she could take her daughters to Disney World while her husband attended a job-related class. They bought their airline tickets months in advance.

"We hadn't really taken a family vacation for a while, so we had planned it," said Broerman, a senior accountant for James Investment Research Inc., of suburban Dayton.

"People are still planning to travel. When they do, they adapt," said Kevin Broom, a spokesman for the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association, a trade organization for RV manufacturers and suppliers.

The RVIA found, in a survey done before the recent run-up in gasoline prices, that 76 percent of RV owners said they intend to use their RVs more this spring and summer than last year, and 20 percent plan usage similar to that of last year. Only 4 percent said they would use their RVs less.

Nearly half said that fuel costs would not affect their RV travel plans. Of those who said fuel costs would affect their RV travel plans, 60 percent said they would adjust to higher gas prices by traveling to destinations closer to home.

Gasoline price volatility has occurred for several years, but it typically makes little difference in the number of Americans who plan to take trips, Keyton said.

"Americans and their automobiles are very hard to separate," Keyton said.


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