RICHMOND, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Despite a challenging economy and concerns over the H1N1 flu, Americans’ plans to visit family and friends this holiday season have not been diminished. Holiday travelers predict they’ll be out in numbers that rival last year’s exodus and are taking advantage of travel deals and other dollar stretchers in order to make holiday dreams a reality. That’s according to a new survey released today by the world’s largest travel insurance and travel assistance company, Mondial Assistance. The survey, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, found that six in ten (61%) respondents say they remain confident they will take a holiday trip this year, with a “trip” being defined as spending at least one night away from home.
The proportion of Americans planning to travel this holiday season is up slightly from the number who reported they took a trip last year, when 59% reported spending at least one night away from home during the 2008 holidays.
Waving off the attention that has been placed on the H1N1 flu virus, almost all (94%) Americans surveyed said that they will not change their holiday travel plans due to concerns about H1N1. Just 5 percent have changed their plans as a result of the so-called “swine flu.”
That travel appears to be holding steady is likely a function of the fact that six in ten (61%) Americans say taking an annual holiday trip is important to them. In fact, among those who say it’s important, eight in ten (78%) are confident they’ll take a holiday trip, meaning that only 22 percent of Americans who say holiday travel is important will likely face the prospect of not taking a trip.
When asked whether they are changing their holidays plans compared to previous years due to the economy, six in ten (58%) said they are not changing their plans for that reason. Those who say they have changed their plans due to the economy are still confident they will take some sort of trip this year, suggesting that of those changing their plans, many are taking advantage of low-priced travel deals or otherwise finding ways to save money, instead of canceling their trips altogether.
Mondial Assistance is a global leader in specialty insurance and emergency assistance services. Four percent of the world’s population, or about 250 million people, are served by Mondial Assistance businesses around the globe. In the United States, Mondial Assistance is the trade name of World Access Service Corp., which is best known for its Access America® brand of travel insurance and assistance services. As one of 29 business units, the U.S. operation serves major travel suppliers, health insurers, credit card, and entertainment companies with insurance products, international travel assistance, and concierge services. Mondial Assistance is part of the Allianz group of companies. For more information please visit: www.mondialUSA.com.