TripAdvisor’s annual TripBarometer study reveals a significant gap in spending habits between older and younger generations, as well as showing how travellers choose destinations and accommodation, and the reliance on information from the world’s largest travel site.
The TripBarometer survey, conducted by independent research firm Ipsos MORI in partnership with TripAdvisor, is the analysis of more than 23,000 responses from TripAdvisor travellers across 33 markets worldwide. They were quizzed about their most recent trip, including their destination, budget, activities and concerns while travelling.
Global Key Findings
- Baby boomers spend over twice as much on accommodation than Millennials; both are just as willing to pay a little more for luxury
- Over half of travellers choose to stay in a hotel versus 7% for accommodation arranged through home sharing websites
- Asian travellers are most interested in hotel brands they trust, UK travellers least interested in brands
- On average, travellers spend more on cruises than safaris
“These results show that travellers in general are getting more sophisticated, they are more interested in experiencing the cultural enrichment of a destination over the weather,” said Janice Lee Fang, Communications Director of TripAdvisor in Asia Pacific. “This year’s TripBarometer certainly shows us how the travel landscape is evolving, from how travel inspiration is informing destination and accommodation choices, to how different generations spend when they are on trips.”
The Generation Gap
The TripBarometer results show the divide in spending habits between generations, with participating Baby Boomers spending over twice as much on accommodation (S$1,540) when compared to their children's generation. Millennials have the smallest accommodation budget by a significant margin, spending an average of just S$675 on accommodation on their most recent trip. However, while younger travellers are more cautious with their finances, they are just as willing as their parents’ generation to pay a little more for luxury, with 54% of Millennials and 56% of Baby Boomers prepared to pay a little more for a luxury trip.
The 25-34 age group is also more likely to be attracted to a great deal, with 16% being prompted to think about their trip because of a bargain – however, this declines with age; 65+ age group are less tempted by a deal (9%).
Younger people are less fixed on a destination when they start thinking about a trip, with 46% of participating 18-24 year olds having decided on their destination before starting their research. For the 65+ age group this is a lot higher; 70% have already decided where to go.
Millennials are more likely to book attractions than older travellers, with almost half (49%) pre-booking things to do before embarking on their trip. Baby boomers are far less likely to book in advance with just over one third (35%) pre-booking attractions. However, across all respondents, the majority (57%) do not take advantage of bookable experiences, potentially meaning longer time spent queuing for tickets and entry while on holiday.
Choosing a destination
Perhaps surprisingly, when it comes to choosing a destination, culture is more of a factor than weather for participating travellers. One third (34%) choose their destination to experience the culture, society and people, compared to just one fifth (20%) of travellers who are seeking good weather.
City breaks are the most popular type of trip, with nearly one in three travellers (30%) taking a city break, and this type of trip is even more popular among millennials (42%). Millennials are also far more likely to conduct thorough research to find the right accommodation and flight combination to make their city break a more economical trip, and to stay within their limited budget.
Finding a place to stay
When it comes to accommodation, travellers remain fairly traditional, with 53% of participants choosing to stay in a hotel for their most recent trip, with 10% in a resort, 8% in a holiday rental or apartment and 7% for accommodation arranged through home sharing websites.
When selecting hotels, Asian travellers, particularly those from China, value hotel brands much more than Europeans, with 82% of Chinese travellers reporting that it is important to stay in a hotel with a brand name they know and trust. UK travellers are the least interested in hotel brands (22%). Families are also more likely to prefer a hotel with a brand they trust (44%) compared to other traveller groups.
TripAdvisor remains the most influential source of information when researching accommodation, and 86% of travellers will not book a place to stay until they have read the reviews.
Surprisingly, cruises came out as the most expensive type of holiday, at an average cost of S$5442 per person, even more than safaris (S$4,626) which might traditionally be seen as one of the most expensive types of trip. Unsurprisingly, some of the cheapest trips were taken by travellers visiting family or friends (S$3,017).
Inspiring Travellers, Helping Businesses
The survey also revealed that TripAdvisor plays an important role in inspiration for travellers, with half of users (49%) having been inspired to visit a completely new destination thanks to TripAdvisor. Twenty-seven per cent of travellers find TripAdvisor to be the most influential place to research attractions, followed by the attraction’s own website.
The launch of the new TripAdvisor experience now means travellers have access to even more inspirational content, with thousands of videos, photos, articles and guides from friends, family, brands, publishers, and influencers appearing on the new site.
TripBarometer: The TripBarometer study, by TripAdvisor, is based upon an online survey conducted from 18th July 2017 to the 20th June 2018, conducted by Ipsos, a global research firm. A total of 23,198 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 profile of TripAdvisor users.