Despite Higher Travel Costs, Summer Getaways are Still in the Plans for a Majority of Families

Minneapolis, MN | June 17, 2008

A recent survey* conducted by Zoomerang for Country Inns & Suites By Carlson, Inc. reveals that, despite higher travel costs this summer, a majority of families are planning on or still considering taking their annual family trip. Forty-one percent of those surveyed say they plan on taking a vacation with their family this summer and another 28 percent are undecided, but still considering it. The remaining third of consumers surveyed noted they will not take a trip this summer, citing budgetary concerns. For families that still plan to get away over the next few months, 54 percent will travel more than 500 miles and nearly 70 percent plan to do so by car.

A recent travelhorizons survey co-authored by the Travel Industry Association of America and Ypartnership also found that six of ten (59percent) Americans who are currently planning a trip with their car, truck or SUV this summer will not change their travel plans even with additional increases in the price of gas. Visit www.tia.org to learn more.

"Summer vacation travel is an important tradition for many families that use the time together to reconnect and create lasting memories," said Steve Mogck, executive vice president of Franchise Operations for Country Inns & Suites. "The fact that people are still planning on taking their summer vacations in these uncertain economic times is a testament to the family value placed on these trips and a big reason why we're providing a special offer for families that stay with us through September."

To help families with the higher cost of this summer's vacation trips, Country Inns & Suites is offering a special TravelValues coupon book to guests that make a reservation on www.countryinns.com or by calling 1-800-456-4000 from now through September 30, 2008. The coupon book - valued at more than $200 - provides family travel offers from a number of companies including: Dollar Rent A Car, Thrifty Car Rental, Sylvan Learning, Scholastic, Creative Memories, AudibleKids.com and Papa John's. For more information, guests can visit www.seeyouontheporch.com, where they can also send vacation postcards, get travel tips, and learn how sharing their vacation memories can win them a three-night stay at any Country Inn & Suites location in North America.

Although the expense of today's family vacations was noted as the biggest difference between the vacations people took when they were kids (57 percent), the quality family time element of the trip was as important then as it is today. Respondents cited "time spent with family members" (42 percent) as the thing they remember most about past family vacations and "building family memories" (41 percent) as the thing they most look forward to during their current family vacations.

One thing that is apparent from the survey is that, while families definitely value their summer vacation time, they don't like to cook when they're away from home. When asked what celebrity they'd most like to bring along on their family vacation, more than half of the respondents (54 percent) chose celebrity chefs Rachael Ray and Bobby Flay to make all of the meals over Will Ferrell for comic relief (16 percent) and Miley Cyrus for road-trip songs (nine percent).

Country Inns & Suites offers locations that feature traditional architecture and sophisticated residential interior design with hardwood flooring, lobby fireplace and front porch. Each hotel welcomes guests with excellent facilities that include swimming pools, exercise rooms and free high-speed Internet access.

Country Inns & Suites locations provide many amenities often found at higher- priced hotels such as complimentary hot breakfast, in-room coffee maker, in- room iron and ironing board and weekday morning newspaper. Country Inns & Suites By Carlson embraces the love of reading through their Read It & Return Lending Library. A variety of titles for all ages are available for guests to borrow and read at their leisure at more than 400 locations in the U.S. and Canada and Country Inns & Suites supports literacy efforts through charitable donations. For reservations and information, visit www.countryinns.com or call toll-free 1-800-456-4000.

Country Inns & Suites By Carlson is part of Minneapolis, Minn.-based Carlson Hotels Worldwide, whose operations also include Regent Hotels & Resorts; Radisson Hotels & Resorts®; Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts; and Park Inn®.

*Research study conducted online by MarketTools, Inc.'s Zoomerang™ service of consumers age 18 to 65+

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