Travel Trends

Travelers Restaurant Spending Trends

- Spending by travelers accounts for approximately 50 percent of revenues at restaurants with an average check of $25 or more, according to the 2004 Restaurant & Foodservice Market Research Handbook.

"Increasingly, Americans are spending more of their disposable income on dining outside the home," said Michael Petrone, director, AAA Tourism Information Development. "This is one reason AAA has made a concerted effort over the past year to inspect and rate and include more restaurants."

According to AAA annual vacation costs research, a vacationing family of four should budget $112 per day for food, not including tips or beverages. That figure is up 12 percent since 1998.

Reflecting Americans' tendency to spend more on dining out is a growing trend to put top-notch restaurants in areas known for high tourist traffic such as Las Vegas with Picasso, Renoir and Le Cirque, and Orlando with Victoria and Albert's. Each restaurant has earned the AAA Five Diamond Award. New York City, another major tourist destination, has six AAA Five Diamond restaurants.

Other notable dining out trends include healthier foods on menus, a more casual atmosphere even in fine dining restaurants, and more exotic and ethnic foods on menus.

As North America's largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 46 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

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