NEEDHAM, Mass., Dec. 15, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When it comes to vacations, U.S. travelers are more in love with their own country than any other nation, a new TripAdvisor study suggests.
Fifty-eight percent of U.S. travelers opted to stay within their nation's borders during their last trip, a higher percentage than any other world travelers polled, and a tribute to the incredible geographical diversity offered in the U.S. This compares to other nations like the U.K. where only 27% of travelers preferred to vacation in their home nation for their last trip. When succumbing to the urge to go abroad, U.S. travelers said they preferred to vacation in Latin America (16%) and Europe (13%), among other top popular destinations.
The findings come from TripAdvisor's latest TripBarometer1 2016 study, which highlights key factors influencing travelers' behavior when researching, planning and booking a trip. The study has also identified six traveler types and four booking patterns, as well as providing insight into gender, age and income demographics. Conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm Ipsos, the TripBarometer analyzes more than 36,000 global survey responses from travelers. The report offers a unique and detailed view into the modern and complex travel ecosystem, revealing country-level and global travel trends.
"TripAdvisor's annual TripBarometer study always aims to provide the global tourism industry and marketing professionals with insights to better understand the motivations of the international traveler," said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer, TripAdvisor. "This year's report sheds new light into traveler types and what motivates their booking decisions."
Profile of the American Traveler:
U.S. travelers are jetsetters, as 33% have gone on at least 5 trips in the last year (minimum of two nights), compared to 9% of German and 13% of Canadian travelers. While they tend to stay in the country, they travel a lot.
U.S. travelers' top preferences and behaviors:
- Most popular destinations: USA (58%); Mexico (6%); Caribbean (5%) and Canada (3%).
- Top 5 reasons for choosing a particular destination:
- Experience culture/history/people — 31%
- Take advantage of the cheap accommodation price — 24%
- Enjoy the weather — 18%
- Go back to their hometown — 17%
- Participate in a cultural or sporting event — 16%
- Cruising for an adventure: 41% of U.S. travelers have been on a cruise ship compared to only 20% average of all other nations.
- Loyalty programs remain a big hit: 12% of American travelers have booked through a particular channel in order to collect/redeem points on loyalty programs compared to a global 6% average.
- Among the world's big spenders: U.S. travelers have spent an average of $5,259 during their last trip, and are third globally after Switzerland and Australia.
- Tend to flock together: 53% of U.S. respondents traveled with spouse/partner; 36% with family members; 18% with friends and colleagues; and 12% on their own.
- Hotels top choice for lodging: 45% stayed in a hotel; 14% in a resort; 8% in a private accommodation; 6% in a motel.
- Trust in TripAdvisor: 73% say it is trustworthy, helps them find hidden treasures (64%), introduces them to something they had not thought of before (61%), inspires them to try something new (53%) and is authentic (54%).
Key Global Findings: How Travelers Plan and Book their Trips
The Travel Planning Timeline:
- 59% of global travelers start researching their trips between one and three months before traveling.
- The active planning phase is quite short, with nearly half of global travelers making their final booking decisions in the space of a week.
Travel Research Differences by Age and Gender:
- Travelers in the 18-34 age group tend to start researching closer to the date of travel.
- Travelers over 55 years of age are more likely to book more than four months prior to their departure.
- It is more common for travelers in the 55+ age group to cram their research into one or two days.
- A quarter of this age group books in this short time frame, compared to only 15% of 18-34 year olds.
- Male travelers research their trip more quickly with 24% spending just one or two days researching, compared to 14% of female travelers, more of whom (28%) spend over a month researching.
- Travelers embarking on longer trips tend to do their research early with 75% starting at least two months in advance and researching for a month or more (41%) than the ones on shorter trips.
Top Global Booking Trends Revealed:
- Top reason for booking: love to travel to new places and cultures (88%)
- Splitting lodging and flights: 82% booked accommodation and transportation separately.
- Time away from home: 66% of travelers book between 2-6 nights away from home.
Revealing Travel Types:
For the first time, the TripBarometer study has also identified six new traveler types based on travel motivations and behaviors, which include:
- Value Seekers - "We want to make the most of our vacation": Often traveling with children, they have a medium income and fall mostly into the 25-34-year-old age group. They particularly value TripAdvisor, babysitting services and kid clubs, and tend to do their travel research on their smartphone. Beach holidays are a favorite for this type.
- Luxury travelers - "We want to enjoy and spend: High earners who go away with their partner on a substantial budget, they are most prevalent in the 25-49 age bracket. They like their trips to be hot and sunny, and check TripAdvisor before booking their accommodation. Preferred trips are beach and city breaks.
- Social travelers - "We want to share and engage with others": They would never consider taking a trip alone and choose to go away with friends and family. Babysitting services and kid clubs are popular amenities for this group. Very much influenced by word of mouth and recommendations, they tend to prefer beach holidays with friends. They trust TripAdvisor to provide them with hidden treasures and tend to fall into the 25-49-year-old age bracket, with a medium to high income.
- Independent travelers - "I want it my way": They love to go away solo and make all their travel choices completely independently. They seek adventure and rely heavily on online research to help them find it. Culture plays an important part in their choice, the climate does not. They are mostly low or high earners, falling in to the 25-49 age bracket.
- Researchers - "We want it perfect": They spend a lot of time researching destinations, activities, restaurants and accommodations, usually on laptops, in order to find the best option for them. They are prepared to spend a little extra for something special. They are often high earners in the 25-49 age group who travel with a partner.
- Habitual travelers - "We want it simple and easy": They tend to go to the same location over and over again, and therefore spend little time planning or researching. A holiday is more about relaxing than fun. Mostly male, they often go away by themselves and tend to be low earners in the 35-64 age bracket.
"This is the first time we have worked with TripAdvisor to identify six traveler types that go beyond demographics to differentiate travelers. In an age where personalization of service and anticipation of needs differentiates brands, this research sheds light on travelers' needs and motivations. It allows travel providers to deliver experiences that speak to consumer needs, whether this is empowering families looking for the best deal, allowing social travelers to replay experiences during and after travel or supporting the researchers as they strive to create the perfect travel experience," said Stephen Yap, head of customer research at Ipsos.
¹Methodology: The TripBarometer study, by TripAdvisor, is based upon an online survey conducted from June 21 to July 8, 2016, conducted by Ipsos, a global research firm. A total of 36,444 interviews were completed in 33 markets, spanning 7 regions. The sample is made up of TripAdvisor website users and Ipsos online panelists who chose to take part in the survey and have researched their travel plans online in the last year. The survey data is weighted to represent the known profile of the global online population, to keep in line with previous waves of TripBarometer.
For additional information about TripBarometer, please visit www.tripadvisor.com/tripbarometer and download the global report.
TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site**, enabling travelers to unleash the potential of every trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 390 million average monthly unique visitors, and reached 435 million reviews and opinions covering 6.8 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 49 markets worldwide. TripAdvisor: Know better. Book better. Go better.
TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP), through its subsidiaries, manages and operates websites under 24 other travel media brands:
www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.citymaps.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.com, www.eltenedor.com, www.iens.nl, www.besttables.com and www.dimmi.com.au), www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.housetrip.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travelpod.com, www.tripbod.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com, www.viator.com, and www.virtualtourist.com.
*Source: TripAdvisor log files, average monthly unique visitors, Q3 2016
**Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, July 2016
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