The price of gas dramatically increased over the last month or so, and is now around $4/gallon in most states, if not more. This has led to many vacationers thinking twice about their plans for the summer months.
According to HomeAway, who has conducted a survey among travelers, 8 out of 10 Americans are still planning on going on a summer vacation, but will adjust their plans in light of the rising cost of gas. Many will opt to go on a “stay-cation” close to home.
Fox News has also conducted a survey with 911 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide. Their results indicate that people have cut down on driving because of the high gas prices (62%), and about half of the voters (49%) indicate that they will change their summer plans due to the increase in the price of gas.
However, Decisive Magazine, reports that despite increasing gas prices, more Americans are planning to travel this summer (59% in 2011 compared to 51% in 2010). Also, they go on to report that the average person is going to take a two-week long vacation, spending $1,200 per person. Most consumers are also planning on staying in the U.S. when traveling this summer. Consumers are also willing to sacrifice to save, 38% said they would drive instead of flying.
At Barefoot, provider of property management software, we do not enjoy the high gas prices either as it has affected us as well. However, we like to have a positive outlook on the situation and see this is as a perfect opportunity to focus your marketing efforts to areas closer to your properties, since more people will likely be driving than flying to a location further away. With high gas prices and multiple sources reporting that more people will be looking at a vacation closer to home, we believe there is a window of opportunity to market to people who would normally not consider your properties a vacation, because it is too close to home. Another factor to consider is that more Americans are planning to travel this summer, so the demand for somewhere to stay should be high.