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Q: "Spending Habits while on weekend vacations" ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: "Spending Habits while on weekend vacations"
Category: Business and Money > Consulting
Asked by: mehoops-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 01 Nov 2003 08:45 PST
Expires: 01 Dec 2003 08:45 PST
Question ID: 271678
What are the spending habit of people on two day weekend vacations? 
How much money do they spend on food, gas, recreation, products
etc...?  I am trying to prepare a projected revenue number based on an
increase in people in an area due to an activity.  I need by 11/9/03
at the latest.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 01 Nov 2003 10:43 PST
If you can tell us the area (state, county, town, or similar
information), it will help pin down some of the available data.



Clarification of Question by mehoops-ga on 01 Nov 2003 12:33 PST
The area is Portland, Maine.  The people who attend our Basketball
Tournaments are from all over New England, but mostly Maine,
Massachusettes and New Hampshire.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 01 Nov 2003 18:01 PST
One more question, if I may:

Are you specifically in need of data on *weekend* trips?

The reason I ask is that there is a fair amount of information on what
people spend on short trips -- day trips, overnights, and
two-nighters, for instance -- but it is not usually explicity broken
out into weekend and weekday travel.

I can provide a lot of information on, e.g. expenditures during
two-day trips, but less on trips that specifically happen over the

Let me know what information would best suit your needs.



Clarification of Question by mehoops-ga on 02 Nov 2003 03:56 PST
Two day trips would work.
Subject: Re: "Spending Habits while on weekend vacations"
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 02 Nov 2003 08:01 PST
Hello mehoops-ga,

Thanks for your question.

There's a fair amount of information out there on travellers...where
they go, who they travel with, what they see, what they spend.  Some
of it is specific to Maine, but I've also included some general travel
data as well, when it seemed particularly useful.

In picking and choosing what to present here, I hope I got it right in
terms of your specific needs.  But if anything I've presented is
unclear -- or if you need additional information -- just let me know
by posting a Request for Clarification, and I'll be happy to assist
you further.



Let's begin with the big picture.  

The Travel Industry Association of America:

reports that weekend travel is becoming increasingly popular,
according to a study they conducted in 2001:

"Weekend travel is more popular than ever, with half of all U.S.
adults--nearly 103 million--taking at least one weekend trip per year.
Almost 30 percent of Americans have taken five or more weekend trips
in the past year and 35 percent of all weekend travelers say they've
taken their children with them on at least one weekend trip. Compared
to five years ago, day trips and weekend trips appear to be more
popular today than trips lasting about one week or longer. In fact,
forty percent of weekend travelers report they are taking more day
trips and/or weekend trips (38%) today than five years ago. Interest
in longer trips lasting more than one week seems to be declining-43
percent of weekend travelers claim they are taking fewer long trips
than they did five years ago. Most weekend travelers (42%) make
last-minute plans and select their destination within two weeks of
their trip. Thirty percent of weekend travelers say they took
advantage of discounts, coupons, or special offers while planning or
while on their most recent weekend trip. Visiting cities (33%) and
small towns (26%) are favored destinations for weekend travelers,
followed by beaches (16%), mountain areas (10%), lake areas (4%),
state or national parks (3%) and theme or amusement parks (3%)".


Other sections of the TIA site provide some additional perspectives on
weekend travellers:

Domestic Research: Trip Characteristics

Most of the travel in the U.S. is made up short trips. More than half
of all travel in the U.S. is for two nights or less:

Day trips -- 15%

1-2 nights -- 39%

55% of overnight trips involve a hotel/motel stay.


A good source of information specific to Maine is the Maine Department
of Economic and Community Development at:

which conducts extensive demographic surveys of travel and travelers
in Maine.

A brief fact sheet of their results can be seen at:

and includes the following:



In 2001, nonresident visitors to Maine directly and indirectly

--$8.9 billion in sales of goods and services;

--Over 115,000 jobs

--$2.5 billion in total payroll


2001 Revenues from Tourism totaled $344 million in state and local
taxes, including:

$193.6 million in Sales Tax;

$ 97.2 million in Personal Income Tax and 

$ 53.2 million in Gasoline Tax.


[NOTE from pafalafa-ga:  The $8.9 billion figure cited above is a
"grand total" of tourist spending plus spending of the travel industry
on advertising, etc. to bring the tourists in.  The figures that
follow concentrate on just the amounts spent by tourists, however).

In 2001, U.S. travelers to Maine spent an estimated $5.6 billion on
food, lodging, leisure activities, retail and transportation.

Over 71% of all travel expenditures were made by out-of state

Out-of-state overnight visitors spent $2.2 billion and day visitors
$1.8 billion in Maine


Maine Travel Profile...

An estimated 9.0 million overnight trips were taken to Maine in 2001.
A 2% increase over 2000.

An estimated 34 million day trips were taken to Maine in 2001.

Maine continues to be primarily a regional destination as 2/3 of
Maine's visitors arrive from within a day's drive.


The full report on which the fact shett is based -- all 173 pages of
it, can be sen here:

I've summarized additional information from the report below, but
would certainly recommend that you review the full report for
additional details.

An estimated 43.0 million day and overnight trips were taken to Maine
in 2001 by American adults.

--Overnight Trips accounted for 9.0 million, 2% higher than in 2000.

--Day Trips accounted for 34.0 million, 3% lower than in 2000.

--Business trips are a small part of the mix, accounting for only 0.8
million trips in 2001.

These travelers spent an estimated $5.6 billion in Maine in 2001.

--Overnight Trips generated $2.4 billion, of which $2.2 billion was
spent by non-residents of Maine.

--Day Trips generated $3.2 billion, of which $1.8 billion was spent by


Maine outpaced the overall U.S. travel market with overnight trips
growing by 2% versus the national decline of 2%.


One of the top reasons cited for overnight trips in Maine was
"attending a special event".


The leading generator of Maine's Overnight Trips was its regional
[i.e. New England] market:

--16% or 1.4 million trips were accounted for by Maine residents
traveling within their home state

--63% or 5.7 million were taken by other regional residents to Maine.

--21% or 1.9 million were taken from all other places in the U.S.


Boston-area residents accounting a full 13.7 million of the 17.4
million Maine Day Trips taken by non-residents living within the day
trip region.


An estimated $5.6 billion was spent by travelers in Maine in 2001, up
from $5.4 billion in 2000.

--Day and Overnight trip contribution was split 57% to 43% or $3.2
billion and $2.4 billion respectively.

The Retail sector benefited most from tourism spending, garnering 34%
($1.9 billion) of all tourism expenditures, followed by:

--Food - 30% -- $1.7 billion
--Transportation - 14% -- $0.8 billion
--Accommodation - 13% -- $0.7 billion
--Recreation - 9%. -- $0.5 billion


The demographic profile of the average overnight traveler to Maine was
similar to the average U.S. traveler but for being:

--somewhat more likely to be male,
--with higher household income.


Average length of stay in Maine for overnight trips was 3.8 nights.


Over half the overnight trips involved travel of 300 miles or less.


Portland is the most visited single destination in Maine, accounting
for 29% of all overnight trips.


30% of overnight travellers rated Maine  "great for professional
sports", higher than the US average rating of 27%.


Those are the highlights --as I see them -- of the Maine tourism
reports.  There's a lot of additional demographic information --
especially on how people make their travel arrangements (e.g. internet
sites vs travel agents) but I didn't think that would be of interest
to you.  I looked for additional details about spending habits of
tourists and did not find any specific to Maine.  However, a good
colleague of mine, Bobbie7-ga, alterted me to these interesting data
from California, which may be of interest to you:

California Beach Restoration Study

"Table 3.6 updates an earlier study and provides an estimate of
spending per household and per individual on day trips and overnight
trips to the beach by Californians. As one can see, day visitors
spent, on average, $102.61 last year per household, or $34.56 per
person, per day on fuel, food (including restaurants), rentals,
sporting goods and other items. As one would expect, spending on
overnight trips is considerably higher, reflecting not only higher
food costs and hotel bills, but also the fact that overnight visitors
tend to come from farther away and, since they are likely to be on
vacation or a weekend trip, are likely to spend more money. Including
all expenses, in 2001, we estimate that households spent an average of
$505 per day, or $170 per person per day on overnight beach trips in
the last year."

Table 3.6 Estimated Spending per Household on Trips to the Beach--per


Gas & Auto ...................$  62.96.......... $ 19.72
Beach Related Lodging ........$ 201.20
Parking & Entrance Fees........ $ 6.08 ..........$  6.08
Food & Drinks from store.......$ 70.54 ..........$ 26.89
Restaurants.................. $ 111.33.......... $ 32.90
Equip Rental.................. $ 26.93 ..........$  7.48
Beach Sporting Goods.......... $  6.92 ..........$  6.95
Incidentals ..................$  19.38 ..........$  8.67
Subtotal Subject to Fuel Tax..$  56.66...........$ 17.75
Subtotal Subject to Sales Tax.$ 227.52...........$ 75.72

TOTAL........................ $ 505.34 ..........$202.16

Mean Expenditure per
Person 2001 ..................$ 170.21 ..........$ 68.13


I hope this is the information you need, but as I said above, if you
find you need anything else, just let me know and I'll be happy to
provide some additional information.

Request for Answer Clarification by mehoops-ga on 02 Nov 2003 10:40 PST
I appreciate the effort, however, I am really looking to narrow it
down to per household or per person expeditures on these overnight
trips and on one day trips.  The most pertinent information I could
gather from your report was at the very bottom of the page for
California.  Is there anything similar for Maine?

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 02 Nov 2003 16:21 PST
Hello again, and thanks for following-up with me on this.

The reason I originally asked for your location was to try and provide
the most appropriate set of data for your needs.  Unfortunately, there
did not seem to be the type of detailed breakout for Maine as there
was for California (which is why I chose to provide the CA data).

However, the information in the Maine tourism report that I cited,
although a bit convoluted, is detailed enough to produce some
information along the same lines as the California table.

So...herewith, the more detailed data, along with some (hopefully
clear) explanatory notes.  But if anything isn't as clear as it should
be, just let me know...I'll stick with it until you get just what you



My original answer noted:

Travellers spent $5.6 billion:

$2.4 billion spent on 9.0 million overnight trips

$3.2 billion spent on 34 million day trips


Going back to the tourism report at:

we can learn more detail about these expenditures:

.........................Overnight...........Day Trip

Retail..................$0.6 billion........$1.3 billion

Food....................$0.6 billion........$1.1 billion

Transportation..........$0.3 billion........$0.5 billion

Sightseeing/Recreation..$0.2 billion........$0.3 billion

Accomodations...........$0.7 billion


On a per trip basis, these expenses become:

.........................Overnight...........Day Trip




Sightseeing/Recreation..$22.................$ 9


per household-per trip..$268................$104

These numbers are my own calculations based on the overall expenses in
each category divided by the number of total trips (9 million
overnights and 34 million day trips).

To put the numbers another way, for each household taking an overnight
trip, on each trip they would spend a total of $268 -- $67 in retail
stores, another $67 on food, and so on.  For a day trip, the
corresponding numbers would be $104 total --   $38 in stores, another
$38 on food, etc.


There's another way to look at the overnight trip expenses, if you

Of the total 9.0 million overnight trips, 4.3 million were classic
tourist-type trips (the remaining trips were visits to friends or
business trips).  It's possible to analyze the expenses for just this
group of overnight tourist-type trips:

--4.3 million trips resulted in $1.4 billion in trip expenses

--this amounts to $326 per household per trip (as opposed to $268 per
household per trip in the table above) broken out as follows:






per household-per trip..$326

Once again, if you need any additional explanation or information,
just ask.

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