TIA: Economic slowdown not slowing down travel

WASHINGTON -- The economic slowdown apparently hasn't dampened America's desire to travel, according to the Travel Industry Association's quarterly Traveler Sentiment Index.

By: Jim Nolan

WASHINGTON -- The economic slowdown apparently hasn't dampened America's desire to travel, according to the Travel Industry Association's quarterly Traveler Sentiment Index.

Overall, the index, which gauges consumer interest in leisure travel and their perceived ability to travel, hit 101.0 for the first quarter of 2001, up 3.7 points from the last quarter of 2000.

TIA president William Norman said the index shows that Americans still have "positive perceptions" toward travel.

He added that "there is currently no indication of a subsequent downturn in leisure travel volume."

Regionally, the Traveler Sentiment Index showed its highest increase in the Northeast, rising 10.6 points to 108.7.

The Midwest and South posted smaller gains -- 4.1% and 1.5%, respectively.

However, the index fell 2.5 points in the West, mainly because of large declines in the affordability of travel and the ability to travel based on personal time, according to TIA.

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