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Travelers Maintain Healthy Appetite for Summer Travel in '08 Despite Problems with Gas

TripAdvisor Survey Reveals 90 Percent of U.S. Respondents Planning Leisure Travel this Summer; 73 Percent to Drive and 71 Percent to Fly

Americans Modifying Plans Due to High Gas Prices

PRNewswire
NEWTON, Mass.
(NASDAQ:EXPE)

NEWTON, Mass., May 14 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel community, today announced the results of its annual summer travel survey of more than 4,000 travelers worldwide. Ninety-one percent of global respondents and 90 percent of Americans are planning leisure travel this summer. Fifty-two percent of U.S. respondents plan to take at least half of their annual vacation this summer, down from 56 percent in 2007. Twenty-three percent of Americans plan to take more vacation this summer than last, while 56 percent expect to take the same amount.

Time and Money

Forty-one percent of U.S. respondents plan to take 1-2 weeks of vacation this summer, the same as one year ago, 23 percent will take 2-3 weeks, compared to 27 percent in 2007 and 19 percent will take three weeks of vacation or more, nearly equal to last summer.

Twenty-seven percent of U.S. respondents plan to spend more on their summer vacation this year than last, while 40 percent plan to spend the same amount this summer.

Excluding transportation and accommodations, the majority of travelers plan to spend the greatest amount of money on their summer vacations this year on restaurants (46 percent, down from 53 percent in 2007) followed by tours (10 percent, compared to 13 percent last year.)

The Fuel Effect

Forty-one percent of worldwide travelers, and 51 percent of U.S. respondents, said the high price of fuel is going to affect their travel plans this summer. Thirty-one percent of travelers (37 percent of U.S. respondents) said they will take fewer car trips to save on fuel and 15 percent (18 percent of U.S. respondents) plan to take shorter distance car trips to save on fuel.

Still, 64 percent of travelers (73 percent of U.S. respondents) are planning to travel via car this summer. Seventy-two percent of travelers (71 percent of U.S. respondents) said they are planning to fly this summer.

The Exchange Impact

Twenty-nine percent of travelers (31 percent of U.S. respondents) said the currency exchange rates are affecting their summer travel plans. As a result, 38 percent of travelers (and 32 percent of U.S. respondents) said they will travel to a destination that has a more favorable exchange rate for them and 21 percent (19 percent of U.S. respondents) said they'll stay at less expensive accommodations.

Memorial Day Plans

Twenty-two percent of U.S. respondents plan to travel this Memorial Day. Among those traveling for Memorial Day, 59 percent plan to drive, and 37 percent intend to fly.

Chilling Out

Sixty-one percent of travelers intend to visit a beach destination this summer. The three most popular beach destinations in the U.S. this summer, according to respondents, will be the Florida coast, Southern California, and the New Jersey shore.

The most popular summer vacation activity according to 66 percent of travelers is just relaxing. City sightseeing, shopping, and visiting a national park are the next three most popular activities while on summer vacation, according to respondents.

The three most popular vacation destination types travelers plan to visit this summer are beaches (61 percent) cities (49 percent) and lakes and mountains (31 percent).

Teched Out

Forty-one percent of travelers said they will avoid email on their summer vacation this year, 38 percent plan to go without the internet, and 28 percent will leave their cell phone behind.

The regular routine travelers are most likely to give up while on summer vacation is returning phone calls and emails, according to 44 percent of respondents, 37 percent said they give up watching TV, and 33 percent said they won't stick to their diet/healthy eating.

Great Outdoors

Nineteen percent plan to go hiking, 14 percent intend to go camping and nine percent will go biking this summer. Twelve percent plan to go sailing/boating and 11 percent expect to go scuba diving/snorkeling. Five percent said they will participate in adventure sports such as whitewater rafting and parasailing.

Cutting Costs and Summer Accommodations

Eighteen percent of respondents said they are most likely to cut costs on their summer travel in their choice of accommodations. Twelve percent plan to eat in more often, 11 percent will save money by using less fuel/traveling a shorter distance, and another 11 percent will save money by taking a shorter trip/shorter trips.

Sixty-four percent of travelers plan to stay at a hotel for their summer vacation, while 24 percent intend to stay at a friend's or relative's home.

Green Days

When asked what eco-friendly actions they plan to take on vacation this summer, 32 percent of travelers said they plan to recycle more, 31 percent intend to use less fuel, and eight percent said they will stay at eco-friendly accommodations.

  Other Summer Travel Tidbits:
  -- 40 percent of U.S. respondents said they will take two leisure trips
     this summer, 22 percent will take one leisure trip and 21 percent will
     take three leisure trips.
  -- 39 percent of travelers and 37 percent of Americans said the farthest
     they plan to travel this summer is between 2000-3000 miles.
  -- 32 percent of travelers plan to buy travel insurance for one of their
     trips this summer.
  -- The most popular activities for travelers with children are going to
     the beach, going city sightseeing and visiting an amusement or theme
     park.
  -- 26 percent of travelers said they prefer not to take vacation during
     summer and take vacations during off-peak travel seasons instead.
  -- 33 percent of U.S. respondents said they will use part of the economic
     stimulus tax rebate toward leisure travel, 16 percent said they will
     all of it toward leisure travel.
  -- 78 percent of respondents think cell phone use should be disallowed on
     planes.
  -- More Republicans (54 percent) than Democrats (51 percent) plan to take
     at least half their annual vacation this summer.
  -- If they could join a celebrity at a beach house on summer vacation,
     George Clooney would be the most popular guest.

"High gas prices, a weak U.S. dollar and the struggling economy are conspiring against Americans, but travelers refuse to stay home this summer," said Michele Perry, vice president of global communications for TripAdvisor.

About TripAdvisor Media Network

TripAdvisor® Media Network, operated by TripAdvisor, LLC, attracts nearly 30 million monthly visitors* across ten popular travel brands, TripAdvisor®, airfarewatchdog.com™, bookingbuddy.com ™, cruisecritic.com™, holidaywatchdog.com™, independenttraveler.com™, seatguru.com®, smartertravel.com™, travel-library.com™ and travelpod.com™. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 25 million monthly visitors*, six million registered members and 15 million reviews and opinions. Featuring real advice from real travelers, TripAdvisor-branded sites cover 300,000+ hotels and attractions and operate in the U.S. (http://www.tripadvisor.com/), the U.K. (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/), Ireland (http://www.tripadvisor.ie/), France (http://www.tripadvisor.fr/), Germany (http://www.tripadvisor.de/), Italy (http://www.tripadvisor.it/), and Spain (http://www.tripadvisor.es/). TripAdvisor® Media Network provides travel suppliers with graphical advertising opportunities and a cost-per-click marketing platform. Collectively, the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Network have won hundreds of awards and accolades from press and industry worldwide. TripAdvisor and the sites comprising the TripAdvisor Media Network are operating companies of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE).

TripAdvisor, SeatGuru, Travel-Library, Holiday Watchdog and TravelPod are either registered trademarks or trademarks of TripAdvisor LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries. Airfarewatchdog, Booking Buddy and Smarter Travel are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Smarter Travel Media LLC in the U.S. and/or other countries. Cruise Critic and The Independent Traveler are either trademarks or registered trademarks of The Independent Traveler, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix, Digital Calculator Report, July 2007

SOURCE: TripAdvisor

CONTACT: Consumer, Brooke Ferencsik, +1-617-670-6575,
brooke@tripadvisor.com; or Trade or Business, Brian Payea, +1-617-670-6688,
bpayea@tripadvisor.com, both of TripAdvisor

Web site: http://www.tripadvisor.com/