Global Travel Behavior Trends 2013

Visa‘s latest Global Travel Intentions Study 2013 has revealed that global cross-border tourism is thriving and travelers intend to increase budgets for their next trip by an average of 5% – with some holidaymakers even suggesting that they would more than double what they spent on their previous trip.

Visa’s regular barometer of travel trends indicates budgets are no longer among the top three reasons behind why travelers choose their next holiday destination. The pull of attractions, scenery and rich culture are instead stronger reasons for travel.


According to the Study, which surveyed 12,631 travelers from 25 countries, the average global travel budget of US$2,390 per trip is set to increase to US$2,501. Top spenders abroad in the past were the Saudi Arabians, spending an average of US$6,666 per trip, while Australian (US$4,118) and Chinese travelers (US$3,824) were not far behind. Future travel budget increases are especially high amongst Asian markets with a predicted increase of 46 percent – travelers from Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong all plan to at least double the budget of their last trip in the future.

United States remains the top choice destination

Attractions, Scenery, and Culture were cited as the key drivers for a future trip regardless of destination. This desire to explore new horizons was evidenced by the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, which revealed that international tourist arrivals grew by four percent in 2012 to reach 1.035 billion.

Visa’s Study revealed the United States ranked as the most popular destination choice for global travelers, both for trips taken in the past two years (17 percent) and for intended travel in 2013 (10 percent).

Other top destinations in 2011 and 2012 included the United Kingdom (UK) (12 percent), France (12 percent) and China, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong (all 10 percent). Looking ahead, regional travel is set to increase, especially in reflection of the growing popularity and economic strength of Asia Pacific (APAC). 31 percent of global travel is expected to be to Asia, and new APAC destinations such as Australia (four percent) and Korea (three percent) are making it on to the latest list of most preferred destinations for future travel.

Travelers also ranked Japan (five percent) and Australia (four percent) alongside the UK (five percent) as the top four intended destinations for future trips abroad.

The Rise of the Asian Giant

The increasing popularity of APAC is partially driven from within the region. Among travelers across the four global regions (APAC; the Americas; Middle East and Africa; Europe), respondents from APAC indicated strong intention (77 percent) to travel more in the future – with residents from nine of the region’s markets stating a higher intention to travel than the global average. Much of this increased travel is expected to take place within the region, where 80 percent of Asian travelers have chosen to take trips in the last two years.

APAC travelers are also spending more during their trip – those traveling within the region spent an average of US$273 per day, higher than both the global average (US$239) and any other region.

“The Asian markets have experienced a huge boom in tourism over the past few years due to the continued strength of their economies and the implementation of policies that promote cooperation and coordination in cross-border tourism. The ease of travel within the region, coupled with a rising middle class, has seen a growing demand for travel among the population and we expect this trend to continue into 2013 and beyond,” said Martin Craigs, Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

Increasing Ease of Travel

An increasing ease and availability of travel options is fuelling the tourism boom. This is particularly prominent in the airline industry where 85 percent of travelers prefer to fly to their destinations despite a preference for shorter distances. Of this figure, most (71 percent) chose to fly economy class while, perhaps surprisingly, only 16 percent chose budget airlines.

A Profile of Today’s Global Traveler

The results of the study paint a picture of today’s global traveler. They are seasoned travelers, with 79 percent travelling in the past two years, taking 1-2 trips per year. 80 percent plan their holidays in advance, taking an average of 10 weeks to organize the trip. Spending time with family and friends was cited as the most popular (38 percent) reason for a holiday. These trips are more likely to be organized independently (42 percent) and will last an average of 10 nights. They choose hotels of four stars and above (39 percent) with 69 percent choosing to take a trip with family members.


Corporate Travel Landscape – Trends & Challenges

An evaluation of the current business travel landscape and supply environment for air, hotel and rail inventory through the 2012 Global Corporate Travel Benchmarking Study and Travel Manager Research by Egencia, released this month.

Focusing on top domestic and international business destinations in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, Egencia analyses industry trends, supplier data and capacity implications in Q1 2012. Additionally, it surveyed over 300 travel buyers globally identifying current trends and challenges.

Travel managers surveyed universally identified cost control/reducing expenses (77 percent) as the greatest challenge facing their travel programs, followed by traveler compliance/policy enforcement (40 percent), Egencia reports.

Average daily rates (ADRs) for hotel stays have also increased in the majority of business destinations, continuing a reversal of previous trends.

Improved occupancy and a decreasing amount of new hotel supply coming into the market has led to slightly higher room prices (approximately 6 percent in North America, 3.3 percent in Europe, and 5.7 percent in the Asia-Pacific region).

Average ticket prices (ATPs) for air travel have, on average, increased in North AmericaAsia Pacific and Europe in the last year, attributed to rising jet fuel prices being passed onto travelers and tightly managed capacity discipline by airlines.

Key results of the new benchmarking study:

North America: As a result of increased cost pressures in Q1 2012, ATPs have increased for nearly all routes departing from North America by approximately six percent. These increases can be largely attributed to higher fuel prices, tighter management of capacity, and continued airline consolidation.

Europe: ATPs for European destinations experienced an increase of nearly six percent YoY. Increased ATPs can be attributed to rising fuel prices and tightly managed capacity by airlines. Decreased ATPs can be attributed to overall financial vulnerability of the Eurozone, increased competition from low cost carriers, and increased competition with high speed rail.

APAC: Asia-Pacific represents a mixed air pricing landscape, varying on a market-by-market basis. However, as a whole APAC is averaging an increase in overall ATPs. Prices for Intra-APAC destinations have increased by an average of three percent YoY. Increased ATPs can be attributed to increased fuel costs and increased demand into China. Decreased ATPs can be attributed to increased competition in the local markets and increased capacity on a majority of routes, as more and larger aircrafts enter the Asia Pacific region.

Travel Management Trends: According to respondents of Egencia’s global survey of over 300 travel buyers, 43 percent of buyers expect their travel volumes (number of trips) to increase during the remainder of 2012 (compared with 54 percent in 2011) with 46 percent expecting their overall travel spend to increase. Additionally, 62 percent of travel buyers said they will negotiate more in 2012 (compared to 38% in 2011).

Find the Full Study here.

Travelling & Technology: U.S. Attitudes & Expectations

A new survey, “Tech Norms for Travelers” conducted by Intel Corporation and commissioned by TNS to explore American attitudes towards travel and technology, finds U.S. vacationers feel anxious when traveling without their mobile computing device, angry when they cannot access power sources to charge these devices and annoyed when others take uninvited glimpses of their computer screens, potentially compromising their personal information.

The survey exposes the deepening love affair between travelers and their devices revealing Americans feel an emotional bond with their mobile devices to the point of feeling calmer and less stressed when they have access to this technology while vacationing.

  • Nearly half of all travelers feel anxious without their mobile computing device
  • Nearly three-quarters of young Americans admit to suffering “outlet outrage” when traveling
  • “Peeping-tech” behaviors rank amongst travelers’ top peeves while almost half fear device heists

Key Survey Findings

Today’s traveler has increased expectations and views each connected minute as invaluable, desiring to create, consume and share safely with a mobile device that is easy on the eye, and the back, with style and design paired with performance and long battery life.

Tech Turbulence

— Female travelers admit greater travel anxiety than men, being significantly more likely than male travelers to report losing their mobile computing device as very stressful (82 percent vs. 73 percent).

— Three-quarters of all travelers surveyed bring their mobile computing device to stay connected to friends and family (75 percent), bucking the idea that dependence on technology detracts from time with family and friends.

Outlet Outrage

— Sixty-three percent of young travelers admitted going out of their way to secure power for their device including compromising their comfort and hygiene by sitting on the floor (37 percent), searching public bathrooms (15 percent) or choosing a restaurant or coffee house based on outlet availability (33 percent).

— Despite our tech addictions, 52 percent of all travelers are annoyed by the physical burdens traveling with technology brings, including heavy mobile devices, power cords and battery packs, and pulling their device out of their bag to go through the airline security check.

“Peeping-Techs” and the Fear of Device Heists

— Forty-six percent of travelers say their biggest pet peeves about traveling with technology relates to device security, including worrying the device may be lost or stolen and someone glancing at their screen. This concern rises to 62 percent among young adult travelers.

— Despite this reported paranoia, around one-quarter of travelers (26 percent) fail to take basic security precautions and admit to security risks including entering credit card details in public, using unsecured Wi-Fi networks, viewing sensitive documents on their device and even leaving their device unattended.

— “Peeping-techs” are among travelers’ top pet peeves. Half of American travelers (49 percent) admit getting annoyed when the behaviors of others compromise their traveling comfort and security, including screen glancing and viewing inappropriate content, with more than 29 percent of all travelers claiming they’ve caught fellow travelers peeping at their screens.

— Despite “peeping-techs” topping the list of travel peeves, more than half (51 percent) of young adults admit to peeping at someone else’s screen while 33 percent of travelers admitted being a “peeping-tech.”

The survey was conducted online within the United States by TNS on behalf of Intel from May 9-13, 2012 among a nationally representative sample of 2,500 U.S. adults ages 18 and older with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Respondents were asked about traveling with Ultrabook devices, tablets and laptops. 

Full Survey here

Travel Trends- Measuring Olympics’ Impact

A new research report just released by ForwardKeys in cooperation with Amadeus, unveil a range of travel data trends, based on actual global air reservations, which details the impact of the London 2012 Olympics.

With approximately 50 days to go before the Games, the findings provide a country-by-country view of where visitors to London during the Olympics period are coming from. The data shows that booking figures for the Olympics period, made by May 12, 2012, are 13% higher than in 2011.

Key trends from the research include:

Top source countries include U.S. and Germany, with arrivals from BRICS increasing by 40%

The U.S. is the single biggest source nation for traffic to the Olympics, accounting for 19% of total expected arrivals – a 12% increase over 2011. Germany is the second largest source market, responsible for 8% of total expected arrivals. Interestingly, BRICS nations (Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa) are emerging as important source nations for long-haul travel to London during the Olympics period: BRICS countries are seeing a 40% increase in bookings compared with 2011, representing a 9% share of total arrivals.

Europe and North America driving traffic to London, but Asia takes gold for biggest growth

Europe is the source region for the greatest proportion of arrivals to London during the period of the Games, accounting for 46% of total expected arrivals, and North America is second with a 23% share; this represents an increase of 18% and 10% over the same period in 2011 for Europe and North America respectively. The third biggest market, Asia, the source region for 9% of arrivals, has seen a significant increase of 27% over 2011 bookings.

New York is most popular source city for travel to London in the U.S.

The 12% increase in expected traffic from the U.S. to London during the Olympics period is being fuelled by traffic from the nation’s largest cities: New York City, in particular, is seeing a dramatic 48% increase in bookings to London for this period compared with 2011. San Francisco is also seeing a remarkable growth, up 29% from 2011, with Chicago and Washington also registering increases of 13% and 18%, respectively. Remarkably, one large U.S. source city – Los Angeles – is seeing a decrease in traffic to London during the period July 23 to August 12, 2012, at -3% compared to 2011.

London’s ‘aggregated traveler index’ up 7%

From the Opening Ceremony onwards, throughout the duration of the Olympic Games, London will experience a high level of occupancy (i.e. number of visitors staying in London), with numbers 7% higher than last year for the period between the Opening and Closing ceremonies. The greatest increase in occupancy compared with 2011 is between August 4 and 8, 2012.

Londoners defer outbound trips until post-Olympics period

It seems that Londoners intend to remain in the city and enjoy the spectacle during the Olympics period: departures to any destination from London for the period before the Opening Ceremony are 5% below 2011 levels. Across the whole summer (from July 2 to September 2, 2012), 2% fewer Londoners will leave the city than in 2011. However, it seems that Londoners aren’t forgoing a holiday altogether, simply deferring it, as three weeks after the Closing Ceremony, departures will increase to 10% more than in the same period in 2011.

Note: The study is based on air reservations processed through online and off-line Travel Agencies worldwide that use any one of the 4 leading reservation systems (GDS), as aggregated within database. Data analysis concluded on 12/05/2012, meaning any air reservations made after this date are excluded from this analysis.

Find the Full Report Here.

European Travel- Trends & Prospects Q1 2012

The European Travel Commission (ETC) has just published this year’s first quarterly report on European Tourism in 2012 – Trends & Prospects.

As a new reference for destination strategy, this report includes a series of market share analyses for ten of Europe’s largest source markets. These market profiles reveal trends in total outbound travel, Europe’s share of the market over the past decade, and growth forecasts for each market.

The main conclusions of the report based on the first two months of 2012 can be summed up in the following points:

  • European travel has exhibited resiliency in the early part of 2012 based on visitor data for the first few months of the year.
  • Air travel demand has also been encouraging, with European airline passenger growth exceeding 5% through mid-April.
  • However, there are signs of mixed performance and slowing throughout Europe.
  • While Central and Eastern European destinations have been performing well, quite a number of Western European destinations have posted declines in hotel occupancy in the first two months ofthe year. Overall, a slowdown is evident in hotel occupancy rates in most European sub-regions.
  • The global economy is being restrained by a mix of government austerity, household deleveraging, corporate caution, and high commodity prices. Meanwhile, data on economic activity indicate that the Eurozone is in mild recession and concerns are mounting regarding government debt.
  • Although only two months of data are available for 2012, relative strength is evident in major European source markets – implying greater internalising of travel in the region.
  • Russia remains a star performer in the early stages of the year. Struggles for the US market are continuing into this year, while Japan continues its resurgence.
  • Central and Eastern Europe have gained share of American long haul travel over the past decade, while Western Europe’s share has declined. However, the opposite shift has been observed for Russian travellers, with Western Europe destinations gaining share over the past decade.
  • Chinese tourist arrivals to Europe reached 4.3 million in 2011, representing 29.7% of the Chinese long haul outbound market. By 2015, Tourism Economics expects Chinese tourist arrivals to reach 5.7 million, representing cumulative growth of more than 30% over a four-year period.

View the full report here

Check out all the latest Tourism & Travel Trends here

Study Snapshot: Key Market Travel Spending Trends 2012

Global travel spending is on the rise, building momentum toward pre-recession levels, according to Visa’s 2011 Travel Snapshot.

The recently released report highlights key spend insights from its account holders traveling to and from the United StatesCanadaMexico and Brazil. Travelers from the United States increased tourism spend by 7 percent, those from Canada by 11 percent, and Mexico by 19 percent. Most notably, travelers from Brazil increased international travel spend on their Visa accounts by 32 percent in 2011 – 43 percent of which was in the United States.

Brazil proves to be a formidable contributor to the global tourism economy, increasing outbound spend by 32 percent.

Key Markets Spending Trends

Brazil: While the United States remains the top destination of choice for Visa account holders from Brazil, most European nations recognized double digit increases in travel spend by Brazilian Visa account holders in 2011. Spending by Brazilian Visa account holders increased by 30 percent in France, 44 percent in Italy and 41 percent in the United Kingdom.

United States: Brazil and China proved to be significant corridors for travel to the United States. Visa account holders from Brazil increased spend on travel to the United States by 41 percent, from $1.9 billion in 2010 to $2.7 billion in 2011, edging out the U.K. as the second highest total contributor to U.S. tourism revenue. Account holders from China increased travel spend within the United States by 61 percent, from $741 million in 2010 to $942 million in 2011. Similarly, account holders from the United States increased travel spend in China by 27 percent, from $741 million in 2010 to $941 million in 2011.

Canada: While Visa account holders from the United States ($3.5 billion), France ($351 million) and the United Kingdom ($348 million) remained the top three contributors to Canadian tourism, Visa account holders from China had one of the most significant increases with a 41 percent increase year over year, from $229 million in 2010 to $321 million in 2011.

Mexico: Visa account holders increased spending in Mexico by six percent in 2011. While Russian account holders increased travel spending in Mexico by 73 percent, travelers from South America also showed more interest in Mexico with Argentina (+58 percent), Brazil (+56 percent), Peru (+30 percent) and Colombia (+30 percent) following Russia with the greatest increases in travel spend to Mexico in 2011.

Market Snapshot: Today’s Globetrotting Children

Globetrotting children of today will have been abroad four times by the age of 10, it was revealed yesterday in a research report which shows that the most common holiday destinations for UK kids today include Spain, France and Greece.

In contrast, 65 per cent of children of 30 years ago hadn’t been on holiday abroad at all by 10 years of age, and were more likely to have one holiday beside the British seaside. The study of 3,000 Brits shows children of the seventies and eighties wouldn’t have jetted off abroad until the age of 13 – compared to tots today travelling by plane at just four years and nine months.

Victoria Sanders, managing director, Teletext Holidays, which commissioned the research said: “There has been a definite shift in the ways parents approach holidays these days. The rise of package holidays in the seventies and eighties, the big holiday discounts of the 1990s and the increasing choice of holiday destinations and quality hotels means it’s become much more affordable – and the norm – to travel as a family.”

“Parents are becoming more adventurous than ever before, thinking nothing of travelling with pushchairs, toys and car seats. But 30 years ago it was more likely that Brits would pack up the car with tents and camping equipment for a seaside holiday by the coast – or if they were being adventurous get on a ferry to France.”

The findings show that in the past, a holiday in a caravan or static home would have been the most likely option for holidaymakers, but now folk are more likely to opt for the comfort of a hotel.

Three quarters of people polled don’t think their parents even considered taking them abroad when they were younger. While 81 per cent say everyone they knew went camping or caravanning in the UK when they were growing up, so they weren’t out of the norm.

Half of those parents polled say they are much more likely to take their children across the seas for the annual holidays.

Ironically a third took the grandparents along too the first time they took their little children away on an aeroplane.

Eight in 10 parents believe folk are much more adventurous and less nervous about travelling round the globe with their children in tow.

And 41 per cent would think nothing of stepping on to an aeroplane with a baby who was only a few months old.

In particular, nine in 10 parents believe that holiday resorts are generally friendlier these days, and make it easier to travel abroad with children.

A third of modern day parents say they wouldn’t feel as though they had given their kids a proper holiday if they didn’t take them abroad, but most importantly, 91 per cent of parents just want their children to look back and remember their summer holidays fondly.

Victoria Sanders, Teletext Holidays, continues: “There has been a definite swing back to package holidays over the last three years since the beginning of the economic downturn. “A decade ago they fell out of fashion in favour of “DIY” holidays – with people matching low cost flights with hotels – but parents travelling with young children don’t want to take any risks and now realise the value and security of a package holidays.”

THEN                              NOW
1.    Cornwall                Spain
2.    Devon                     France
3.    Wales                      Cornwall
4.    Scotland                Devon
5.    Dorset                    Greece


Trend Snapshot: The booking and buying habits of UK, German & French travellers

PhoCusWright presented at ITB Berlin in March 2011 key findings of its European Consumer Travel Report which provides an overview of the status of consumer travel in three individual markets – the UK, France and Germany.

Their research uncovers some surprises and important differences between these three markets. The European travel markets are extremely varied in nature.  The report highlights include the following trends:

– Traffic Forecast: A strong ratio of French consumers plan to travel more versus those who intend to travel less. The German outlook is also positive, though more moderate. UK travellers, in contrast, show a very slight growth trajectory for the upcoming year.

– Proliferation of the Internet in making travel plans: Among those with internet access, just 6% of French travellers, 9% of German travellers and 5% of UK travellers plan and book their trips completely offline.

– Search engines hold the key: When shopping for leisure travel options, the majority of French, German and UK travellers typically use general search engines, which rank first among website categories.

– Price is merely a hygiene factor: Even in today’s price-sensitive environment, the most commonly cited reason to visit a website is a prior positive experience. This was indicated by 38% of respondents in France, 50% in Germany and 51% in the UK.

– Hotels are not the main draw: Only 38% of French travellers surveyed enjoy staying in hotels, compared to 72% of German travellers and 82% of UK travellers.

– Smartphone adoption reaches critical mass: Over a third of travellers now carry mobile phones with web browsing capabilities; 38% do so in France, 37% in Germany and 47% in the UK.

– Mobile travel is small, but growing fast: Fewer than 10% of travellers have performed travel-related activities on their mobile phone in the past year. Yet intentions show that the mobile travel audience will be likely to double in the next 12 months.

Other findings show that the age group with the most leisure time in Europe were the 18 to 24 year-olds who are a very tech-savvy generation.


Check out other tourism and travel trends at:

Study Snapshot: ITB’s latest World Travel Trends Report 2010/2011

International tourism will already hit a new all-time high this year and is heading for further growth in the 3-5% range in 2011, according to ITB’s latest World Travel Trends Report. Tourists around the world are still being careful with their money, however.

The world’s hotels and accommodation industry will see a good recovery this year in volume terms but not quite return to growth yet, the World Travel Monitor results showed.

After a 7% drop in total room nights in 2009, volumes will rise 5% this year to 5.7 billion nights. The key trend is that people are travelling again but taking shorter trips. Hotel prices are rising again as demand returns strongly but trends are very divergent around the world, according hospitality research company STR Global.

Room yields (revenue per available room) are rising in Asia and improving in Europe after a sharp drop over the last two years, Konstanze Auernheimer, director of marketing & analysis, commented at the World Travel Monitor Forum.

Click the icon below to download the full report