Vermonters change travel arrangements

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(Host) Vermonters are taking their time to make summer travel plans, and, in some cases changing their plans as a result of the war in Iraq.

VPR’s Steve Zind has more:

(Zind) It seems many travelers will be avoiding Europe this year in favor of destinations closer to home. Travel agents say it’s a combination of anxiety about travelling long distances and concern over encountering anti-American sentiments overseas. Scott Fitzgerald is with McPherson Travel in Montpelier.

(Fitzgerald) “I can tell just by the sentiments from a lot of the tour companies that I talk to, that a lot of their business to Europe is way down. Then again, I’ve talked to a lot of people who have been to Europe and said that they haven’t experienced any anti-American sentiment over there.”

(Zind) Scott Milne of Milne Travel/American Express agrees travel to Europe will be down this year. He thinks Canada will be a popular destination as a kind of Europe-lite:

(Milne) “I think a lot of people are going to look to Canada as a fun place to go to get a European flavor, a European feeling without having to do all the flying.”

(Zind) Milne says many tour companies are moving reservation deadlines back because people are unwilling to book trips too far in advance in light of the changing world situation. Milne says money, not politics remains the biggest consideration for people making travel plans. He says the sagging economy is keeping people close to home.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Steve Zind.

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