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NY'ers Tell Siena: We'll Take A Vacation This Summer

This Special COVID-19 Siena College Poll was conducted April 3-14, 2020 by internet interviews with 307 Business Leaders from across Upstate
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Just before the major party conventions, there’s a new poll out from the Siena Research Institute. But if you’re ready for a break from politics, you’re not alone. This poll is about New Yorkers and their summer plans.

"We asked New Yorkers a straight-up question: 'Will you take a vacation of at least one week this summer or not?' Because sometimes it does seem as though virtually everybody is on vacation. This is a little bit of a half-full half-empty kind of perspective. 56 percent of New Yorkers told us that absolutely, yes they will be taking a vacation of at least one week this summer. Of those, about a quarter of those, said they would take two weeks, in fact, one out of 10 of those vacationing this summer say they're gonna take at least three weeks. The flip side is that 42 percent of us say that they will not take at least a one week vacation this summer."  Siena pollster Don Levy says it's not as if the people who are not vacationing for a week aren't enjoying any of the summer activities. They are.

"They're going to water parks, they're going to the beach, they're visiting historic sites. They're just simply not able to take that full one-week vacation that 56 percent of us are."  Levy notes that about a quarter of respondents plan to staycation in New York.  "An additional half are gonna be in the U.S. but outside New York. And approximately a quarter of us are actually gonna vacation outside the country."

Top activity: taking a road trip. Nearly half of New Yorkers 65 and older will be out there, along with two-thirds of New Yorkers between 35 and 49 years old who say they're going to get in the car and drive...going to the beach is a top destination.   "56 percent of us say that we're gonna head off to an ocean beach and nearly half say that we're gonna visit a lake or go to a water park or visit historic or natural sites. So there's a pretty wide assortment."

Levy says New Yorkers with children in the household are going to engage in those activities at a rate far higher than those without kids.  And with the Summer Olympics set for Rio, Siena gauged New Yorkers' interest in the games:   "Only just over half say that they're gonna pay some or a great deal of attention, and that similarly, just over half believe that the Olympics are gonna get off without a hitch. We asked a hypothetical question 'If money were no object, would you travel to Brazil to see the Olympics, and I think that's where the concern about the readiness of the games, the Zika virus, the political and or social unrest affects people. Two-thirds of New Yorkers say even if money were no object, even if I handed you the tickets, they would not travel to Brazil to see the Olympics."

Women, folks over age 65, and those earning less than $50,000 per year are least likely to take a vacation this summer, according to the survey.

Siena conducted the poll June 1-28 via telephone calls to 801 New York residents.  The poll has an overall margin of error of + 4.3 percentage points.  Here are the crosstabs.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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