We’re already a few weeks into the new year, and uncovering the next trends in travel – cue the buzzwords. While these trends change with the season, what’s certain is the substantial research that has uncovered where we are heading in the travel space. In 2017, we looked deeply into traveler trends and behaviors and uncovered some interesting information that shed light into what we can expect for the coming year as marketers in this space.
Travelers demand experiences and #YOLO
Budget has always been a top priority for consumers when it comes to booking and taking a vacation, but is that the most important factor? Not at all. When it comes to choosing and booking a trip, travelers all over the world are prioritizing experiences, and the activities they will be doing on their trip, having a “once in a lifetime experience” and a cultural experience take priority over lowest price and deals and special offers (see chart below from our ). For those trying to reach and convert the traveler audience, highlighting deals and special offers will always be valuable, but it shouldn’t be the only feature. Destinations, hotels and other brands need to showcase the experiences, activities and adventures they can offer the traveler.
Destination competition is heating up
With the rise of mobile, the increasing number of digital touchpoints and the growing popularity of social media, destination marketing organizations have more access to the consumer than ever before. With this, travelers have more decisions to make – if they are considering a beach destination and would generally just think of beaches in the U.S., now they may be inspired by a beach in Bali, in the Caribbean or off the coasts of Northern Europe. Across the globe, boundaries are being blurred as travelers look for vacation inspiration. In our research on travelers in eight countries (U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Germany, China, Japan and Australia), at least 50 percent of travelers are undecided on a destination and are looking for help and inspiration during the planning and booking process.
Bleisure is mainstreaming
Bleisure travel – the mix between business and leisure – while it is now a fairly common industry buzzword, is also an important shift in the travel landscape over the past few years. In fact, Travel Weekly’s Consumer Trends report, showed that the percentage of leisure trips that have a business component is on the rise; up to 17 percent, from 14 percent in 2015. Our latest research on the bleisure traveler uncovers that it is a common practice with U.S. business travelers; 43 percent of business trips are bleisure, and 84 percent of bleisure trips are spent in the same city or area as the
business trip. For more on this topic and how to reach and convert the business traveler, you can reference our report, Discover the Untapped Mind of the Bleisure Traveler.
Learn more insights to help inform your 2018 marketing strategy with a few of our recent studies and topics: