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Will gas prices drive people away from taking a vacation?
Friday, May 30, 2008 10:41 AM

The scripts are available for printing and for sound bite identification.

Go to http://www.wichita.edu/newsline to get the current Wichita State University Newsline. If you cannot access the Newsline at the Web address above, contact Joe Kleinsasser at (316) 978-3013 or joe.kleinsasser@wichita.edu. Newsline cuts may be edited to suit your needs. If you have additional questions for Harrah after listening to the WSU Newsline, please contact her at (316) 978-5184 or janet.harrah@wichita.edu.

Background:

Food costs more and gas prices are going through the roof. Will the economic squeeze affect summer vacation plans? Janet Harrah, director of the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University, comments on the impact of rising prices on summer vacation plans.

Voice wrap:

Announcer: Higher gas prices are sure to affect people taking summer vacations this year, right? Perhaps, although how much remains to be seen. Janet Harrah, director of the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University, says the rising price of gas alone won't keep many people from taking a vacation.

Harrah: "When you're looking at the price of gasoline and its effect on consumer travel plans, it's not the price of gasoline in and of itself that's going to affect your overall travel budget. For example, at $2 a gallon versus $4 a gallon, if your car gets 20 miles a gallon on the highway, and you're going a thousand miles round trip, the difference that $2 versus $4 is only a hundred dollars in your total trip costs."

Announcer: Harrah says there are a variety of ways consumers can reduce the overall cost of their summer vacations. For example, they may decide to stay with family and friends rather than in a hotel, or they may decide to go camping. Some people may opt for a shorter vacation, while others will choose a lower-cost location. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.

Sound bite #1

Harrah says consumers are feeling the pinch of rising food and gas prices. The sound bite is 8 seconds and the outcue is "feeling the pinch."

Harrah: "Right now we have rising food prices and rising gasoline prices, and they've risen quite dramatically in the last six months, and consumers are really feeling the pinch."

Sound bite #2

Harrah says with increasing food and gas prices, experts wonder what the impact will be on summer vacation plans. The sound bite is 8 seconds and the outcue is "summer vacations."

Harrah: "As food and gasoline prices have been rising, the question has arisen as to what impact that's going to have on consumers' plans for summer travel and summer vacations."

Sound bite #3

Harrah says people don't give up summer vacations very easily. The sound bite is 8 seconds and the outcue is "total cost."

Harrah: "Past experience has shown that despite higher gasoline prices, people don't give up their summer vacations. They just try to look for ways to reduce the total cost."

Sound bite #4

Harrah says there are a variety of ways consumers can reduce the cost of their vacation. The sound bite is 21 seconds and the outcue is "stay in Florida."

Harrah: "There are a variety of ways that consumers can reduce the overall cost of their summer vacations. For example, they may decide to stay with family and friends rather than stay in a hotel, or they may decide to go camping. They may decide to go for a one-week vacation rather than a two-week vacation. They may look for a lower-cost location. For example, rather than flying to Hawaii, you stay in Florida."

Sound bite #5

Harrah says the tourism industry hopes the timing of the tax rebates will encourage many Americans to take a vacation. The sound bite is 15 seconds and the outcue is "one of those items."

Harrah: "I think one of the things the tourism industry is looking at is the timing of the federal government tax rebates. It's coming right at the start of this travel season. It will give consumers a pool of money that they could spend, are very likely to spend on luxury items, vacation being one of those items."

Sound bite #6

Harrah says in spite of higher gas prices, it might be a good year to travel. The sound bite is 17 seconds and the outcue is "good package deals."

Harrah: "And actually in spite of high gas prices, it might actually be a good year to travel from a cost perspective because most major tourist locations are worried about consumers wanting to stay home, and are consequently really competing for consumers and offering a lot of discounts and a lot of really good package deals."

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Contact: Janet Harrah, (316) 978-5184 or janet.harrah@wichita.edu.