Where are people traveling this year? How much are they spending? What are some of travelers’ favorite “dream destinations?” We found out answers to these questions and more in the TripAdvisor TripBarometer survey of over 60,000 travelers and hoteliers around the world. The bi-annual survey helps our community of travelers and businesses understand changes in traveler spending and travel patterns, as well as provides insights into planning and booking preferences of travelers at different stages of life.
Top 4 TripBarometer findings at a glance:
- International travel is up: One of the big findings this year is that international trips for U.S. travelers is up 14%, while domestic travel remains fairly steady. 67% of those surveyed say they will be leaving the U.S. when they travel this year, up from 53% in 2013. As for traveling stateside? Ninety-seven percent are planning a domestic trip this year, compared to 95% last year.
- U.S. travel budgets grow (a little bit): And although U.S. travel budgets this year are slightly higher than in 2013 (increasing slightly to $8,272 from $8202 last year), deals will play a big factor into booking decisions. Almost all U.S. travelers (97%) say that price is an important factor. And just under half (47%) say that special offers play a big role.
- Italy tops American travelers’ list of “dream vacations”: Italy, Australia, and Ireland topped the list for American travelers. And the U.S. topped the list as the dream destination for travelers from Greece, Israel, and Spain.
- Smartphones have become an essential travel tool: 90% of U.S. travelers say they use their mobile phones on vacation, which is consistent with the global average of 91%. What are they doing on their phones you ask? While traveling, 52% of U.S. respondents use their mobile phones to look for things to do, 62% use their phones to look for restaurants and 27% use them to find hotels. Smartphones also help point them in the right direction, with 73% using their mobile phones to find their way around their destination. And don’t forget social media use: 50% access social media while on vacation and 48% share information on these sites.
The survey results also reveal three distinct global traveler profiles:
Millennials: Going Somewhere New
18 to 34 years old, do not have any children under 18
- Most likely to be saving up for travel: when asked why they would spend more on travel this year, 46% of millennials said they had been “saving up for it.”
- More likely than other life stages to visit a place they have never been before (81%) and to choose a travel destination based on local events (31%)
- Highly influenced by travel blogs (52%) and travel related photos on social media sites (47%)
Families : Beach Bound
25 to 54 years old, married/in a relationship with children under 18
- More likely to spend more on travel this year because they feel as though they and their family “deserve it” (40%)
- Most likely to choose a beach holiday as their preferred type of trip (41%)
Retirees: Savvy Planners
- Most likely to plan in advance, most commonly booking three to six months ahead of their trip (43%)
- Most influenced by ratings (82%) and reviews (75%) for accommodations, attractions and restaurants on review sites.
- When traveling with tablets, they are more likely to use them to find their way around (52%) while on a trip than the average traveler.
Interesting stuff. And there’s a lot more! Check out this infographic with some of our favorite tidbits. And see the full, global TripBarometer findings at http://www.tripadvisor.com/tripbarometer.