Fall 2008 Travel Forecast

Pictures of trees turning those glorious colors of red, yellow and rust are now featured on your website. You are now promoting pumpkin patches and advising visitors to pack long sleeves to cope with the cooler temperatures as they shop the farmers markets! Fall in the Midwest is a beautiful time of year, but are visitors discovering your community? Are people even traveling in this economy?

This month’s Five at 5 suggests a resounding “Yes!” TripAdvisor surveyed 1,900 travelers worldwide, and 82 percent of U.S. respondents plan to travel for leisure this autumn, up from 70 percent who said they took pleasure trips last fall.

Five other things to note this fall:

* 48 percent of those travelers plan to drive to their destination. Continue to market to those markets within driving distance.

* 21 percent of U.S. travelers plan to take a trip to view the colorful foliage this fall. If your website is not featuring fall pictures, get with your webmaster today.

* 26 percent of U.S. travelers plan to visit a winery this autumn. Is there a winery within driving distance from your community? It’s okay to promote a neighboring attraction if your community is serving as the hub.

* 58 percent of U.S. respondents plan to go to a festival this fall. Have you emailed your database informing them of your fall festival?

* 50 percent of business travelers are exploring ways to extend business trips with leisure.* Each front desk of your hotels should have a placard of “fun things to do.” Perhaps the hotel will allow you to distribute a flyer in each room!

“Fall is shaping up to be a strong season for TripAdvisor travelers and even a modest drop at the gas pump, fuels their enthusiasm,” said Michele Perry, vice president of global communications for TripAdvisor. With continued marketing efforts this fall, your destination will be able to attract those visitors.

*from Orbits for Business and Business Traveler Magazine trend report

(Originally posted October 2008)

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