Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Would $4 Gas Change Your Summer Travel Plans?

Seems like we've found the threshold price for petrol that would affect consumption, but then the dominoes start to fall. Tourism as a form of consumerism is front-line vulnerable. The shift from long-distance to local tourism was predicted in the early seventies, but nobody then had any idea how long it would take before it happened.

From the linked site:

It’s no secret that gas prices are unusually high for this time of year and that they’re going to continue to rise throughout the summer’s peak driving season. How high will they go? While nobody knows for sure, several analysts are predicting that before this summer is over, the national average gas price will top $4 per gallon for the first time in history.

So, what would happen to the summer travel season if these predictions prove to be true and the average gasoline price actually does climb above $4 per gallon? According to a recent poll, it looks like the summer travel season could come to a grinding halt.

When asked “If gas hits $4 per gallon this summer, will it cause you to travel less?” 74% of respondents stated that they would in fact travel less. A total of 17% of respondents stated that they would not travel less, 7% said they were not planning on traveling anyway and 2% said they were unsure how $4 gas would impact their summer travel plans.

Obviously, this isn’t very good news for beach towns and other summer vacation spots, many of whom rely on summer tourists to provide much of the year’s revenue. If gas prices were to force people to “vacation” closer to home, many beach shops and restaurants could be in danger of going out of business.

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