YP℠ Research Forecasts Summer Travel Trends


When Americans need to fill their gas tanks during road trips, they are likely to choose stations where they can get in and out quickly – and are less concerned with the brand of gas or food and beverage options, according to research by YP, North America’s largest local search, media and advertising company. The research, based on consumer survey findings and analysis of searches via the YP℠ Local Search & Gas Prices app, also found schedule flexibility and sight–seeing are the two most appealing benefits of taking a road trip versus flying.

“Memorial Day weekend kicks off the summer travel season, and for many of us, smartphones will be one of our most useful travel companions,” said Darren Clark, CTO, YP. “According to YP’s survey, most people will consult two or more sources for recommendations while they are on the road, and we expect more travelers than ever this summer will be using apps like the YP app to guide them along the way – from finding the cheapest gas nearby to restaurants serving a local favorite.”

YP’s research also found that Americans view oil companies and the U.S. government as having the most influence on gas prices; Boston and Austin lead other U.S. cities in preparing for Memorial Day road trips; and mobile searches for gas prices peak in August, suggesting more Americans are taking road trips later in the summer.

Key findings from YP’s research include:

When choosing a gas station during trips, easy entry and exit trump brand of fuel and amenities

Besides price, being able to conveniently get in and out of a station matters most in determining where road trippers purchase gas (39 percent). Factors less often cited in the consumer survey as most important include the food and beverage options available at a station (21 percent), the brand of gasoline sold (19 percent) and the appearance of the station itself (13 percent).

Control over travel schedule and sight–seeing are lead benefits of road trips over flying

When surveyed to compare driving versus flying, Americans find greater flexibility in schedule (35 percent) and sight–seeing (33 percent) as the two most appealing benefits of taking a trip by automobile, besides price, instead of by plane. These responses were followed by the ability to easily take more stuff with you (11 percent), avoiding crowds and security lines (9 percent), and the ability to more easily take pets (7 percent).

Top U.S. cities preparing for summer road trips

Boston saw the largest increase in gas price searches between the week of Memorial Day 2012 and the preceding two weeks than any other city (54 percent), followed by Seattle (13 percent), Atlanta (11 percent) and Chicago (10 percent), according to data from mobile searches on the YP℠ app. During that same period, many Americans looked to get their cars ready to hit the road, and Austin led the cities seeing the highest increases in searches for auto repair businesses (243 percent), followed by Atlanta (153 percent), Cincinnati (122 percent), Sacramento (78 percent) and Colorado Springs (70 percent).

When do people pay the most attention to gas prices?

According to data from mobile searches on the YP℠ app, the highest number of searches for nearby gas prices during summer 2012 took place in August (22 percent), and the top five days seeing the highest volume of gas price searches all came in August and September, suggesting that more Americans are taking road trips in the second half of the summer closer to back–to–school season. August was followed by July (21 percent), then June and September (both 20 percent), and May (17 percent) in volume of gas price searches. August 28, 2012 marked the single highest daily volume of gas price searches during the summer. To date in 2013, more searches for gas prices occur on Friday than any other day of the week, and Sunday sees the lowest number of gas price searches. The survey found most Americans (61 percent) purchase gas when their gas meter approaches the quarter of a tank mark, and one out of every five Americans typically do not buy gas until the “low fuel” indicator light comes on.

Americans see oil companies and U.S. government as heaviest influencers of gas prices

Petroleum companies are viewed by the largest number of Americans (30 percent) as holding the strings when it comes to gas prices, followed closely by the U.S. government (28 percent), the consumer survey revealed. Few Americans (7 percent) believe consumers of gas in the U.S. have the most influence, and only 2 percent believe consumer demand in other countries has the most influence. College graduates are more likely to say that petroleum companies have the most influence than those without a college degree (40 percent versus 27 percent), who are more likely to say that the U.S. government has the most influence.

The YP℠ app is a must–pack for summer travel. Whether you are looking for a nearby hotel, kid–friendly restaurant or to find cheap gas on the way, the app easily connects users with local businesses, deals and events to help get things done.

Data was produced from YP℠ app and a May 2013 omnibus survey, a national survey of 1,000 men and women ages 18 and older. YP search data was compiled in strict compliance with the YP Privacy Policy.

About YP

YP is North America’s largest local search, media and advertising company. Its mission is to help small businesses and communities grow. Millions of searches occur daily using YP products to find, compare and select local merchants. The company’s flagship consumer brands include the YP.com℠ site, a top 40 U.S. Web domain, the highly rated YP℠ app and the YP Real Yellow Pages℠ directory, the largest Yellow Pages directory in the world by revenue.

The company’s wide range of print and digital advertising products are designed to address the evolving local search needs of consumers and help advertisers grow their business. The YP℠ Local Ad Network provides advertisers with an opportunity to reach more than 180 million monthly users across over 300 affiliated online and mobile publishers. Through customized campaigns designed by expert advisors, YP provides local businesses with one of the most cost effective sources for consumer leads.

YP products and service are backed by thousands of media consultants and customer service professionals in local markets across the US with relationships spanning over 600,000 businesses. An affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., one of the world’s leading private investment firms, acquired a controlling interest in YP from AT&T in 2012.

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