On 15th December TripAdvisor today announced the results of their TripBarometer study, the world’s largest accommodation and traveller survey, highlighting key travel trends for 2016.
Conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm Ipsos, the TripBarometer study is the analysis of more than 44,000 survey responses from travellers and the hotel sector worldwide. The TripBarometer “2016 Travel Trends” report presents a snapshot of the travel landscape for 2016, revealing US domestic and global travel trends.
“This year’s TripBarometer shows that U.S. travellers continue to recognize the importance of treating themselves to travel,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer, TripAdvisor. “With one third of survey respondents planning to spend more this year, we expect to see even more travellers checking both domestic and international destinations off of their wish lists.”
U.S. Travel Trends of 2016
Seventy-eight percent of U.S. travellers plan to spend more or the same in 2016, which is the third largest annual travel budget among countries globally:
|Top 10 Markets that Intend to Spend the Most in 2016
(average of all countries after conversion into USD)
Top Reasons U.S. Travellers Will Spend More on Travel in 2016
- Because they/their family deserves it (46%)
- Going somewhere on their wish list (46%)
- Going on more long trips (38%)
- Longer length of trips (34%)
U.S. Baby Boomers plan to spend $10,600 on travel in 2016, twice as much as Millennials ($5,300). This is higher than the global averages – $8,700 and $2,900, respectively.
Ninety-six percent of U.S. travellers are planning a domestic trip in 2016 compared to the global average of 90 percent. Seventy-two percent are planning an international trip, which is slightly lower than the global average of 85 percent.Top Reasons U.S.
Respondents Choose Travel Destinations
- Culture of the destination (50%)
- Recommendations from family and friends (36%)
- Events (34%)
- Special offers/packages at hotel or accommodation (27%)
When selecting accommodations, cost is the key consideration for travellers in the U.S. – 94 percent of respondents named price as the most important factor when booking the accommodation for their last trip. Accommodation ratings (90%), TripAdvisor reviews (89%), proximity to attractions (86%) and dining options (79%) also ranked high on the list.
Germans, on the other hand, are more likely to find travel inspiration from their favourite documentary with 26 per cent revealing they have chosen to visit a destination simply after seeing it on screen.
Americans and New Zealanders are far more practical, however, choosing their final getaway locations in accordance with events they have to attend.
U.S. Traveller Quirks
The Top 5 Things U.S. Travellers Won’t Leave Home Without
- Toiletries (77%)
- Smartphone (74%)
- Camera (57%)
- Clothing for special occasions (56%)
- Adaptor (51%)
U.S. travellers rank as the fourth most “germophobic” in the world, with 37 percent listing hand sanitizer as a travel essential, compared to 23 percent globally. They value their beauty rest as well – 13 percent bring their own pillow, higher than the global average of six percent. 37 per cent of British survey participants named their must-have travel essential as an e-book.
Meanwhile, Indonesian, Argentinian, Malaysian, Chinese and Mexican travellers are the top five nationalities most likely to pack an extra suitcase when they take a trip – likely, to ensure they have plenty of space to transport their shopping haul.
And though Indonesians may be most likely to be spotted sporting wearable technology, 12 per cent of Chinese travellers revealed they were also careful not to leave home without it.
But only two per cent of Italians would be caught trying out the tech trend.
Amenity Deal Breakers
Certain amenities will make or break a hotel’s chances of earning a booking. U.S. travellers expect more for less, and will book elsewhere if an accommodation does not offer:
- Air-conditioning (70%)
- In-room Wi-Fi (42%)
- Parking (38%)
- Safe deposit (25%)
- Breakfast (24%)
A third of all Thai, Indonesian and Indian travellers say that they are planning to try an adventure holiday for the first time in 2016, while one in six Indian millennials refuse to book a hotel without gym facilities.
And the most frequent flyers? Ten per cent of all jet-setting Swiss travellers polled revealed that they were planning on taking more than 10 international trips in the next year, making them the most likely nationality to accrue some major frequent flyer points.
But don’t expect them to be using those miles to visit family members abroad.
New Zealanders are the most likely to fly across an ocean to visit family, with 30 per cent saying they’d choose a destination to spend time with their next of kin.
In contrast, Russian, Austrians and Thai are the least likely to do so. Only four per cent said they’d select a destination for this reason.
TripAdvisor summaries the report into 6 key travel trends:
Trend #1 – Seeking new experiences
In the coming year, travelers of all ages will seek out things they haven’t tried before, from cruises to solo travel and more.
- Globally, 69% of travelers plan to try something new in 2016.
- 1 in 5 global travelers said they would try a cruise for the first time next year.
- 17% will try solo travel for the first time in 2016; 15% will try adventure travel for the first time.
Trend #2 – Spending more because it’s “worth it”
Worldwide, travelers are open to spending more in 2016 than they have in the past—and not just because of rising costs.
- 1 in 3 travelers (33%) are planning to spend more on travel in 2016 than they did the previous year.
- Among those who plan to increase their travel budget, 49% said they will do so because “because I or my family deserve it.”
- 31% said they would spend more on travel because “it’s important for my health and well-being.”
Trend #3 – Choosing destinations based on culture, special offers
Today’s travelers choose destinations for a number of reasons, including special offers from accommodations.
- Globally, 47% of travelers say they have visited a destination because of the culture and people of the specific country.
- 1 in 5 travelers (21%) have chosen a destination because a hotel had a special offer or package.
- “TV tourism” is on the rise: 1 in 5 global travelers have visited a destination because they saw it on a TV show.
Trend #4 – Staying cool and connected
Among the amenities that travelers will look for when they book an accommodation in 2016, air conditioning and WiFi stand out.
- Globally, 63% of travelers said air conditioning is a must-have when choosing a place to stay. That makes it more of a deal-breaker than breakfast (40%) or a swimming pool (26%).
- 46% said free in-room WiFi is a must-have amenity—meaning that, if an accommodation did not provide it, they would look elsewhere.
- 26% of travelers said that they require an accommodation that has super-fast WiFi; 11% are willing to pay extra for this service.
Trend #5 – Rising room rates (and optimism)
Many accommodations plan to raise their room rates next year, while the majority of hoteliers say they’re optimistic about profitability in 2016.
- Nearly half of hoteliers globally plan to increase room rates in 2016 (47%).
- Most accommodations are increasing rates to compensate for increased overhead costs (65%), although more than a third are increasing rates because of recently completed renovations (37%) or because of increased demand (35%).
- 3 in 4 business owners are optimistic about profitability in 2016. The majority of those who are optimistic say it’s because of local events and conferences taking place in their markets next year (65%).
- 91% of hoteliers see increasing direct bookings as key for the future of their business.
Trend #6 – Managing reputations online
Online presence remains important: In 2016, businesses will be keeping a close eye on what people are saying about them on the web.
- 93% of hoteliers said that online traveler reviews are important for the future of their business.
- Online reputation management is still the biggest area of investment for accommodation owners in 2016, with 59% investing more in this area than they did the previous year.
For additional information about the TripBarometer, please visit: tripadvisor to download the global report.