Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cruising Still Hot

The economy is troubled and the dollar is weak. But one forecast suggests that Americans aren't giving up international travel.

Travel organization AAA and Global Insight, a forecasting company, predicted 25.1 million Americans will take leisure trips outside the U.S. this summer, up 2.6 percent from last year. The forecast counts Canada and Mexico among international destinations.

"Those that choose to make these trips are reallocating their budgets," said Ken McGill, executive managing director of Global Insight, a forecasting company. "Leisure travel has become not only a necessity to many American travelers, it's become almost a divine right."

Vacationers will cut shopping and entertainment out of their travel budgets, and will cut household expenses before they nix travel plans, McGill said.

The forecast is based on an economic model that includes aggregated data about the U.S. economy, domestic spending, foreign exchange rates, historic travel data, inflation in travel costs and other factors.