Expedia Reports

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Expedia Reports Appetite for Summer Travel, What Vacationers Can Expect

RISMEDIA, May 18, 2007-Expedia.com(R), an online travel provider, introduced the latest issue of its quarterly report, Expedia Travel Trendwatch(TM). While travelers will face peak season pricing this summer, year-over-year increases are not expected to be as dramatic as 2006, when airfares alone rose about 10%.

Additionally, despite rising airline ticket prices, 60% of U.S. adults plan to fly as much this summer as they did last summer, according to a recent Expedia.com survey. The same survey reveals that 86% of U.S. adults who plan to vacation this summer are somewhat to very likely to consider an "off-the-beaten-path" destination. Lastly, busy work schedules may be pushing employed adults to consider mixing business and leisure travel. The report also provides offbeat travel inspiration, further trend information and travel tips designed to help people make better vacation decisions.

"Vacationers this summer are turning to new online tools and information to help them find and plan their perfect trip," said Chris McGinnis, editor, Expedia Travel Trendwatch. "With 146 million Americans hitting the roads and the skies this summer, two key factors they consider are avoiding crowds and finding the best deals."

Key travel trends and tips reported in the current issue of the Expedia Travel Trendwatch(TM) include:

1. It's getting crowded out there, but prices are holding firm

- Despite some of the nation's largest airlines experiencing record loads this spring, year-over-year increases are not expected to be as dramatic as in 2006, when airfares alone rose 10%.
- Popular destinations like New York City, Hawaii, Washington D.C., Boston, Orlando and Vancouver are seeing ticket price reductions of four to seven percent, likely due to capacity increases. On the flip side, Miami, New Orleans and Toronto are seeing increases of five to eight percent, likely due to increased demand.
- Internationally, Paris, Amsterdam and Athens are trending higher, with increases of five percent to 10%. High-volume hubs like London and Frankfurt are seeing decreases of 11% and nine percent respectively as airlines have lowered fares to make these locations more attractive given the unfavorable exchange rate for American travelers.

2. Travelers are heading off the beaten path to beat peak season crowds

According to an Expedia.com survey, 86% of U.S. adults who plan to vacation this summer are somewhat to very likely to consider an off-the-beaten-path destination and 10% of all summer vacationers are already planning to travel to one.

3. Business travel is not just for business anymore

- The same survey found that 83% of business travelers would be somewhat to very likely to extend a business trip by a few days for leisure purposes. In fact, 27% said they would be very likely to do so. In addition, 57% said they plan to invite a friend or family member to join them on a future business trip.

Off-the-Beaten-Path - inspiration to take the road less traveled

- Instead of Paris, try Quebec City. France receives more foreign tourists per year (around 75 million) than any other country. If you don't feel like sharing your vacation with millions, but still want a French-tinged experience, look north to Quebec City, a ville right out of a fairy tale, in the French-speaking Canadian province of Quebec.
- Instead of Cancun, try Tulum. Steer clear of the crowds and rowdy margarita bars in wildly popular Cancun by driving about two hours south along Mexico's Caribbean coast to the area around Tulum. There you can experience cultural and ecological treasures, such as the Mayan Ruins of Tulum, and the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Instead of Orlando, try the Wisconsin Dells. Orlando conjures up images of Disney's Magic Kingdom, but also of long lines, high prices and the heat of central Florida. For an alternative, consider kid-friendly Wisconsin Dells where you will find 18 indoor waterparks, the highest concentration in the world.
- Instead of Hawaii, try Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. If Hawaii is too far away or too expensive, consider a trip to the Dominican Republic, located just a few hours from many east coast cities. Off the radar of most travelers, it's now one of the fastest growing destinations among Expedia travelers, get there before everyone else does!

For more information, visit http://www.expedia.com/

RISMedia welcomes your questions and comments. Send your e-mail to: realestatemagazinefeedback@rismedia.com.


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