It’s New Year 2019 and TripAdvisor has released its annual travel trends report, based on findings culled from over 23,000 study participants in 7 regions and 33 different markets. Among the key revelations were that Millennials spend only around half as much on accommodation as Baby Boomers, the combined market share of Airbnb and similar home-sharing websites stands at approximately 7%, Asian travelers place their trust in brands while the British simply don’t, and as travelers get older, they are more likely to know where they want to go, and less likely to be tempted by price promotions.
The survey examines spending habits and decision-making trends among travelers of different age groups and from different backgrounds, and shows the influence of TripAdvisor in guiding those decisions. A growing level of sophistication can be observed across the board as travelers are increasingly focusing upon the cultural attractions of a destination, cited by a third of travelers, rather than basic factors such as the weather, mentioned by just a fifth. Travelers today are better informed, and hence inspired, in making their destination choices than ever before.
A number of differences are apparent between the generations. Baby Boomers are spending a little more than twice as much on accommodation compared to Millennials, but when it comes to luxury, there is no difference between the groups, with a little more than half of both older and younger travelers willing to spend more to treat themselves. For hoteliers looking to entice customers, it might be useful to know that Millennials are always on the lookout for a bargain and will make their trip decisions on the basis of price, while their parents rarely succumb to temptation.
The Baby Boomers also tend to decide which destination they want to visit, and stick with it in making their plan, while fewer than half of Millennials will start thinking about a trip with a fixed destination in mind. Conversely, once the destination has been chosen, half of Millennials will make bookings for various attractions prior to setting off, while only a third of Baby Boomers will bother to make reservations. In general, however, it seems that the chance to beat the queues isn’t yet sufficient to persuade the majority of travelers to book ahead.
The most popular type of vacation is the city breaks, especially among younger age groups, among whom 42% list cities as their favorite destinations. However, Millennials are much more likely to find ways to control their costs when they take a city break, seeking out the best accommodation deals and flight offers to stretch their budgets further.
Despite the growing media interest in accommodation alternatives such as Airbnb, hotels are still the top choice for a little more than half of all travelers. Among Asian travelers, and the Chinese in particular, there is a marked tendency to seek out familiar accommodation brands. Fully 82% of Chinese claim this is very important, while the British take the opposite view with only 22% taking any notice of branding. Family groups fall in the middle when it comes to brands, with 44% looking for something trusted and familiar.
Finally, there is no getting away from the power of the review, as 86% of travelers stated that they would not consider booking their hotel without first consulting online peer reviews. Half of all travelers use TripAdvisor in researching their travel, whether for accommodation, dining, or other attractions, and a quarter rate TripAdvisor as more useful even than an attraction’s own website.