New Travel Survey Reveals "Resourcefulness" of Consumers
Reasons for cutting back on travel next year:
- Household budget concerns/cutting back on discretionary spending (54%)
- Concerned about economy/own job (39%)
- Airfares are too expensive/costs too much (36%)
- Travel in general is too expensive/costs too much (33%)
- Gas prices are too high (20%)
- No time/too busy (14%)
- Can’t get time off from work (11%)
- Need/want to do some projects I have been putting off at home (11%)
But the overwhelming majority of leisure travelers (67%) plan to take the same number of trips this year than last. They have a renewed sense of confidence in their ability to maneuver the financial uncertainty that still prevails, and moderated their shopping and consumption behavior accordingly:
- 86% agree: "These difficult times have helped me to focus on the things that matter most in my life;"
- 86% agree: "I have done a good job of making my household more fiscally responsible;"
- 79% agree: "I have become a much smarter shopper thanks to today's economic situation."
They have done so through their relentless pursuit of "deals" and "special offers," trading down, and a growing willingness to wait for goods and services to go on sale before making a booking.
Currently doing versus a year ago:
- Using coupons/direct offers – 36% doing more, 5% doing less
- Waiting for items to go on sale – 35% doing more, 3% doing less
- Purchasing generic brands – 28% doing more, 5% doing less
- Shopping online – 26% doing more, 11% doing less
- Shopping at discount stores – 24% doing more, 7% doing less
- Purchasing with credit cards – 12% doing more, 27% doing less
- Buying exclusive brands – 3% doing more, 33% doing less
- Shopping at malls – 4% doing more, 38% doing less
Not surprisingly, their preferred "tools" for managing the process include some of the latest advancements in online travel-planning technology that permit users to comparison shop fares and rates at will, including well-established online travel agencies and new "meta search" engines that aggregate fares and rates from multiple travel-service supplier websites.
"Tools" typically used to book travel:
- An online travel agency site such as Expedia, Travelocity, or Orbitz (66%)
- A branded travel service supplier site such as , , or (48%)
- A meta search site such as or (15%)
Although the "new resourcefulness" of consumers suggests that value will remain in vogue when it comes to vacations for months to come, the trend is reassuring to many travel service suppliers as it reaffirms, once again, that to most consumers a vacation is truly a birthright. Most Americans are simply not prepared to relinquish that sacred time away from work each year, even if it means they have to look a little harder and wait a little longer to find the right deal.
The Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2010 Portrait of American Travelers(SM) is a nationally representative survey of more than 2,500 U.S. adults whose annual household income exceeds $50,000 and who have taken at least one overnight trip of 75 miles or more from home for either business or leisure purposes during the previous 12 months. The survey was conducted during the first quarter of 2010.
Ypartnership is America’s leading marketing services company serving travel, leisure and entertainment clients. The agency’s Insights group is widely acknowledged as the preeminent source of market intelligence on emerging business and leisure travel trends. The firm also co-authors the quarterly travelhorizons™ survey with the U.S. Travel Association. For more information, visit .
Harrison Group is a leading market research and strategy consulting firm specializing in sophisticated market strategy, market analytics, survey and forecasting services. In addition, Harrison Group is the recognized expert in the American affluent and wealth space and also specializes in the travel, real estate, media, financial management, consumer products and interactive entertainment markets. For more information, visit .
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