Trip Planning Preferences

Goals

To understand relative preference for visiting new locations or previously-visited locations in vacation planning, as well as determine if demographic differences exist in terms of trip planning. This information will be used as background for destination marketing content.

Early Findings

Trip Planning Preferences

  • Younger consumers are more interested than older consumers in visiting new destinations. 49% of families say their main travel priority is to visit new destinations and explore.
  • In a US survey conducted by Discover in 2019, 24% of Gen Z and 24% of millennials said exploring "a new city/destination" was their top priority in a vacation (compared to 18% of Gen X and boomers, and 19% of Silent Generation).
  • A Skift Research survey in 2019 found that an emerging travel trend was increasing interest in transformative and unique travel experiences that would provide a broader perspective of the world.
  • Between 2018 and 2019, there was a notable increase in the percentage of travelers seeking adventure (47% in 2018 and 56% in 2019). 82% of respondents in 2019 said they wanted their travels to provide a new perspective on the world (compared to 63% in 2018).
  • "Destination websites" increased from 21% to 32% as a reported source of trip planning information from 2018 to 2019, suggesting more travelers researching new vacations and trips.
  • A 2019 Tripadvisor survey indicated that 56% of global travelers choose a destination to explore city history, while 52% vacation to visit friends/family.

Trip Planning Post COVID-19

  • A global survey conducted by iVisa found that North American travelers are more comfortable about traveling post-pandemic than those outside North America.
  • A recent BVK Advertising survey revealed that roughly 80% of Americans are thinking about or planning future travel.
  • Just under half (46%) said they would revert to their previous travel behaviors.
  • 40% of respondents said they would be amenable to advertising for vacation destinations, which may imply they are seeking (or dreaming about) vacations to new locations.
  • A Zapwater Communications "Post COVID-19" survey of US consumers, found that just under 30% of future travelers want to take a "bucket list" trip within the first 6 months, implying visitation to a new destination.
  • Younger consumers and those with higher incomes (over $125,000) are more interested in traveling post-COVID-19.
  • A recent survey of US, UK, and Australian travelers found that "bucket list" trips would be a priority, post COVID-19. Skyscanner booking site notes its most popular destinations for new bookings are Antarctica, Ecuador, Peru, Egypt, and Morocco.
  • Despite a trend toward new destinations, COVID-19 may initially have a negative impact on trip planning for new destinations, with over one-third (34%) of US consumers noting that travel may initially be different after the pandemic. This is driven by safety concerns, and elevated concern around air and cruise travel.
  • Kathy McCarthy, a spokeswoman for "Meet Minneapolis" said about initial vacation preferences post-pandemic, "The first choice for many people will be a close, familiar destination likely one that's a driving vacation."

Summary of Early Findings Relevant to the Goals

  • We were able to uncover abundant Information surrounding consumer travel attitudes, preferences, and behaviors. We also found numerous travel industry experts weighing in on the impact of COVID-19 on travel and post COVID-19 travel behaviors.
  • We were able to find information prior to COVID-19 suggesting that trip planning focusing on new destination was trending upward, driven by younger consumers, as well as those in North America.
  • While an exact statistic surrounding preference for new versus previous (repeat) destination in trip planning was not uncovered, consumer input suggests that around 50% travel for new destinations and experiences.
  • It is also clear that travel trends have changed post-COVID 19, with consumers continuing to plan future travel, but most indicating they will initially stay near familiar surroundings.
  • Our recommendations highlight information uncovered in early research.

Proposed next steps:

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