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U.S. Businesses Report Growing Optimism about National and Local Economy

Thursday, April 24, 2014
News Making Money

Summer Leisure Travel Plans on the Rise for 2013

28/06/2013 08:13 (299 Day 22:10 minutes ago)

The FINANCIAL -- 64% of Americans are planning leisure travel this summer, up from 60% in 2012, according to a recent Harris Poll. Among those planning a getaway, more than half of adults (52%) anticipate spending $1,000 or more, with $1,665 being the average amount Americans expect to spend on their summer vacation. 


"The summer travel season is upon us, and choosing where to go on vacation is a big decision, especially with anticipated leisure travel up four percentage points over last year," said Allison Powell, Research Director at Harris Interactive. "Consumers want to feel like they're getting their money's worth when it comes to all aspects of travel - from flying to renting a car to booking their hotel stay - and will shop around to get the best value out of their travel dollars and vacation experience," Powell added.


"The Online Travel Website category made solid gains for 2013. earns a strong 2013 score, their highest in the nine years they have been measured in EquiTrend. That score, which earns them the distinction of Brand of the Year, is mainly driven by gains in Purchase Consideration," said Powell.

Alaska/Horizon Airlines comes out on top for the second year in a row, named Brand of the Year in the Full Service Airline category, according to Harris Interactive Inc. Hawaiian Airlines and Delta Air Lines also rank above the category average. United Airlines moves above the category average, with strong Brand Equity gains based on gradually improving Quality and Purchase Consideration upticks.

Strong year-over-year Brand Equity gains are shown in the Value Airlines category. Among these airlines, Southwest earns the Brand of the Year distinction for the third year in a row and is the only Value Airline brand to rank above the category average.

The Rental Car segment is another category showing Brand Equity gains in recent years. Enterprise is Brand of the Year for the third year in a row, with Hertz and Budget both also coming in above the category average, according to Harris Interactive Inc.

While many value driven categories are on the rise, the Economy Hotel category is the only group to decline as a whole in Brand Equity for 2013, driven by lower levels of Purchase Consideration. However, America's Best Value Inn maintains its top ranking for 2013 as the Economy Hotel Brand of The Year. EconoLodge, Super 8, Red Roof Inn and Rodeway Inn also finish above the category average, according to Harris Interactive Inc.


"America's Best Value Inn is among the brands in the Economy Hotel category with lower Familiarity scores, but Americans that are familiar with this brand give it strong Quality and Consideration scores," said Powell. "Also, it enjoys strong Consumer Connection and Brand Momentum Scores, showing that Americans connect with this brand and see it as a brand of the future," Powell added.



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“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”: presidential election and early parliamentary elections

23/04/2014 16:38 (13:45 minutes ago)

The FINANCIAL -- A 14-member delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), led by Stefan Schennach (Austria, SOC), will travel to “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” from 25 to 28 April to observe the conduct of the presidential election (2nd round) and the early parliamentary elections, alongside observers from the OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly and Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), according to PACE.



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