Leisure Trends Survey Finds Consumers Turning To Recreation

Results from a Leisure Trends survey about vacation plans and travel may be good news for outdoors and recreation. The survey found those who have cancelled or postponed their vacation plans are simply reevaluating their options and most likely will be staying close to home to spend time with families. And that often means outdoor recreation.
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Results from a Leisure Trends survey about vacation plans and travel
may be good news for outdoors and recreation. The survey found those
who have cancelled or postponed their vacation plans are simply
reevaluating their options and most likely will be staying close to
home to spend time with families. And that often means outdoor
recreation.

The study was conducted by the Leisure Trends Group between Sept. 21
and Oct. 6 of 499 U.S. households on behalf of the SnowSports
Industries America (SIA) and the Outdoor Industry Association. The goal
was to gauge trends in leisure time behavior following the Sept. 11
terrorist events.

While SIA has released the study, Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the
Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) told SNEWS® that OIA is holding off
releasing the study for a few more days to better understand the
numbers.

"We are in a great position as an industry," says Hugelmeyer. "There is
a tendency in times like this to harp on the small negatives as opposed
to the large, bright positives. A perfect example would be the findings
that 70 percent of those surveyed are not planning to cancel their
vacations while 30 percent are -- I think the story is here is that 70
percent are still traveling.

"There is going to be a follow-up report to this which OIA will send to
the entire industry," added Hugelmeyer. "We will be sending the report
late this week or early next week to everyone for free. It is too
important for it not to be shared with everyone, OIA member or not."

Jim Spring, president of the Leisure Trends Group, told SNEWS® that he
believes the numbers from the survey indicate a tremendous opportunity
for outdoor recreation.

What follows is a summary of the survey numbers (Leisure Trends states
the margin of error is +/-4 percent at the 95 percent level of
confidence):

  • 40
    percent of respondents had planned on taking a vacation or trip of
    three or more days in the next six months before Sept. 11. Of these, 29
    percent said the events had caused them to alter their plans. Of the
    nearly 30 percent of Americans who said their vacation plans had
    changed, 42 percent said they cancelled their travel, 30 percent
    postponed and 7 percent said they would not fly. Most would change
    their plans to stay closer to home.
  • Only
    17 percent have made travel plans away from home since the tragedy but
    45 percent are likely to travel for pleasure in the next six months,
    which involves air travel within the US.
  • Americans
    feel "very safe" visiting mountain winter resorts (57 percent) and
    national parks (58 percent). Beach resorts (51 percent) in the United
    States (including Hawaii) ranked third.
  • Americans
    said they feel least safe on cruise ships (31 percent), at beach
    resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico (38 percent) and in cities (37
    percent).
  • Overall
    sports, camping and recreational equipment spending among sports
    participation is least likely to drop. Eighty-one percent of Americans
    say they will spend the same as they did last year, 8 percent say they
    will spend more and 11 percent less.
  • Winter
    outerwear may see gains in consumer spending with 13 percent of
    participants saying they will spend more, 10 percent less, and 77
    percent the same.
  • Ski
    and snowboard equipment sales will be more challenged with 8 percent of
    Americans planning to spend more and 16 percent say they will spend
    less. However, 76 percent say their spending will remain the same.
  • Prior
    to the attacks, 78 percent of self-identified skiers and snowboarders
    said they planned to take at least one overnight trip during the
    upcoming season. Post Sept. 11 this percentage dropped to 57 percent,
    with 11 percent saying they were undecided and did not know what they
    would do.
  • Prior
    to Sept. 11 ski and snowboard enthusiasts anticipated participating a
    mean of 6 days this season, post Sept. 11 this leaped to 10 days.
  • Prior
    to Sept. 11, 21 percent of those who planned to ski or ride this winter
    were beginners. Post Sept. 11, the percentage of beginners slipped to
    2.6 percent.

To see more complete information from SIA, click on: www.snowsports.org/industrynews/tl.htm

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