The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) today released its annual study that tracks perceptions of American travelers, key indicators of future travel planning and where they are spending.
This annual temperature check of the consumer provides invaluable insights for tour operators, destinations and travel planners. ASTA collected the opinions of 2,050 travelers on a wide range of travel topics, including how much they plan to spend, where they plan to go, current sentiments about travel as it relates to the economy and how consumers utilize travel advisors.
The results revealed some interesting findings between genders, age groups and travel advisor usage:
● 74% of those who plan to use an advisor will likely travel during the holiday season.
● 47% of travelers expect to take a trip during the upcoming holiday season.
The general outlook is optimistic from both travel advisor and consumers who anticipate a better year for travel in 2020.
● Despite recession jitters, a whopping 50% of travel advisors think their business is going to be better next year than it is this year.
● Consumers anticipate spending more on their next trip than those who don’t plan to use an advisor ($4,015 vs. $1,687). The difference is likely due to international travel referenced in an upcoming data point.
● The anticipated spend per traveler in 2020 $6,772 – a 10% increase over the past 12 months.
● Are more likely to travel overseas than non-users of travel advisors (31% vs. 8%); travel the world and more exotic locales with confidence when using a travel advisor.
● Anticipate taking more trips on average than those who do not (3.6 vs. 2.5 trips) and spend more: $4.015. Travel more: 3.6 trips average equating to $14,670.
● Men vs. Women: 50% of men feel the economy will be better 12 months from now compared to 31% of women.
● Men will spend an average of $2,377 while $1,542 will be spent by women. Men plan to take more trips than women (2.6 vs. 2.0).
● Married vs. Not Married: $2,571 for those who are married and average of $1,350 for those non married.
● Millennials plan to take more trips (2.7) than any other generation. Gen-Xers are not far behind at 2.5 trips.
● Gen-X travelers plan to spend more ($2,780) than Millennials ($1,816) or Baby Boomers ($2,158).
● More travelers expect to take trips in the USA in the coming 12 months than did so in the past 12 months (79% vs. 75%).
● On the flip side, however, fewer travelers plan to take trips outside of the USA (17% vs. 23%).
Current Sentiments / Concerns:
● Top concerns when it comes to taking personal trips among all respondents: Personal Safety 52%; not having enough money 52% followed by crime at 49%; 46% for terrorism; and 46% severe weather and natural disasters.
Top Destinations by Region:
Caribbean & Central or South America Asia Europe
Bahamas 49% Japan 54% United Kingdom 49%
Puerto Rico 29% China 42% Italy 47%
Costa Rica 28% Thailand 36% France 45%
● Men are more likely than women to go to the following destinations: United Kingdom (58% vs 37%) and Germany (38% vs. 24%)
● Women are more likely than men to go to the following: France (50% to 41%) and Greece (37% vs. 23%)
● Men are more likely to travel to Brazil (27% vs 15%), Cuba (26% vs. 14%), Colombia (26% vs 10%) and Argentina (23% vs 11%)
● Millennials are more likely to go to the Bahamas or Puerto Rico 60% and 35%, respectively than other generations
Travelers who use a travel advisor are more likely to be:
● In the Northeast (25% vs. 15%)
● Male (63% vs. 47%)
● Younger (ave. age of 39 vs. 45)
● Millennials (45% vs. 29%)
● Married (56% vs. 49%)
● Children households (57% vs. 34%)
● Latinx/Hispanic (21% vs. 15%)
● Wealthier (ave. income $99,000 vs. $81,000)
The results reflect a positive travel outlook for 2020, which is a great sign for the health of travel advisor businesses and consumers feeling more confident to travel regardless of the current U.S. and world news. It’s interesting, yet not surprising, that people go abroad to unfamiliar destinations and travel more when using a travel advisor. It goes to show that better planned trips provide travelers with the confidence they need to broaden their horizons.