“We now have the largest pool in the U.S. of leisure travelers since prerecession,” Marcello Gasdia, director of consumer research at Phocuswright, said during a webinar discussing the company’s soon-to-be-released research data on leisure travel. “We’re projecting the pool now at more than 140 million. That’s the biggest it’s been since 2009.” Gasdia said 66% of U.S. adults in 2014 took part in some sort of leisure travel, defined in the research as an overnight trip of 75 miles or more away from their homes involving at least one night of paid lodging or a flight. The percentage of leisure travelers hit a high water mark just before the recession with 71% of adults in 2008 before plummeting to 61% in 2009. But leisure travel has seen steady growth for the past two years, according to the research. That trend is likely to continue with consumer confidence and discretionary income both on the rise. Get the full story at Hotel News Now