TripAdvisor, one of the larger players for booking travel – and reviewing destinations and analyzing consumer trends – has weighed in on 2016 this week with the release of its annual TripBarometer study.
It has six parts, and portions are geared to those within the industry. Some of the highlights, though, may hint at what consumers intend to do.
Among the trends:
Money will flow. Among U.S. travelers, 78 percent intend to spend more or the same among of cash as last year: $8,400 on average. Only travelers from Australia and Switzerland intend to spend more ($10,900 and $10,100, respectively).
Boomers say then plan to spend $10,600; millennials, just $5,300.
Top reason U.S. travelers across the board plan to spend more? Because they “deserve” to (46 percent) or they want to go somewhere on their wish list (also 46 percent).
The appeal of staying stateside. Where are people heading? 96 percent are planning a domestic trip (a 1 percent rise over the previous year’s survey); 72 percent are planning an international trip. Familiarity with a destination – whether first-hand, passed-along or assumed – seems to be a factor: For choosing a destination, 50 percent cite the “culture of the destination,” 36 percent say “recommendations from family and friends.
Footnote: TripAdvisor surveying was done the second half of October – before the most recent international terrorist attacks. That said, TripAdvisor did a followup with a panel of travelers, asking if their plans would change in light of security/safety issues... and 90 percent said their plans would not change.
Oh, yeah. The TripBarometer study also found some quirks. American travelers, for example, are the fourth-most “germophobic” in the world, with 37 percent listing hand sanitizer as a travel essential. Internationally, the average is 23 percent.
And what won’t American travelers leave home without? Their toiletries (77 percent), smartphones (74 percent), camera (57 percent), special-occasion clothing (56 percent) and adaptor (51 percent).