Always consider the source. As Hurricane Dean shredded through Mexico yesterday, TripAdvisor.com announced that its users were unfazed by the recent uptick in hurricane activity. A survey of 1,200 avid travelers found that just 5% of the respondents were concerned about windstorms disrupting their fall travel plans.
In other words, few are backing away from booking, or keeping, upcoming vacations.
There is little reason to dispute the findings. Even if you spent the last few days watching video footage of tourists bolting out of Mexican coastal resorts, the survey should be comforting for the travel industry. However, it's worth noting that TripAdvisor is a popular travel review forum owned by booking giant Expedia
I guess it could have been worse. A study could have been conducted to show that folks just love being stranded at airports during delayed and canceled flights (a nasty trend this summer). How about a survey to show that all of the fair and amusement park accidents this summer aren't keeping folks away from the turnstiles? Or that passport renewal delays aren't crimping plans for European getaways?
I'm just teasing at this point, but it does lead one to wonder if there are any conflicts of interest here. Rival portals like Priceline.com
TripAdvisor is the gem. If you know where you're heading, the website will provide you with user-submitted travel guides, hotel reviews, and active forums to discuss your travel plans. It's got company in vying for its parent's attention, though.
Over the past year, Expedia welcomed a number of travel websites to the family:
Whether it's a website for traveling bloggers (TravelPod) or a place online to find the best seats on any given plane (SeatGuru), Expedia has a lot of Web 2.0 content sites that can feed traffic right into its open arms.
So, no, I'm not surprised that TripAdvisor's study has everyone anxious to keep traveling. You've got to feed the parent. Once again, though, consider the source.
Enjoy a round-trip ticket to related Foolishness:
Priceline is a Stock Advisor recommendation. If your late summer travel plans include a trek to fiscal enlightenment, set course for a free 30-day trial subscription to the newsletter service.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves to travel, but after bearing the brunt of Hurricanes Andrew, Katrina, and Wilma, he's learned to respect the savage windstorms. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.