When it comes to business and leisure travel, brand names don’t matter as much anymore. Today, it’s all about the best deal.

That was one of the messages delivered Tuesday by national travel trends expert Peter Yesawich, who spoke at the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau 2011 Tourism Summit and Annual Meeting at the Phoenix Hyatt.

Among findings in a discussion entitled “Portrait of the American Traveler,” Yesawich shared the following information based on a study conducted every 90 days with 2,300 U.S. households:

  • U.S. travelers are becoming more “resourceful,” taking advantage of coupon specials and “Flash Sales” – travel bargains that expire within a matter of hours. This is leading to “impulsive decisions” as 30 percent of those polled say they took a “last-minute” trip during the past year;
  • 46 percent of all vacations are now weekend trips;
  • “Staycations” are becoming increasingly popular – 30 percent of leisure travelers took an overnight trip within a 50-mile radius to home as an alternate to a longer vacation;
  • More U.S. travelers are turning to sites such as Tripadvisor.com to get advice and read blogs.

Despite the current recession, Yesawich says he is optimistic the travel industry will continue to grow.

“The clouds are beginning to part,” he added.