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Destination Unknown: How U.S. and European Travelers Decide Where to Go 2012
Report | Published: September 2012
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  • Summary
  • Contents
  • Methodology

Publication Summary

With uncertainty lingering over many of the world's economies, cautious consumers have reigned in their spending in 2012. While most consumers in the U.S. and Europe have avoided cutting leisure trips out altogether, many are cutting back, and travel patterns have shifted as travelers pare down their trips to match their skinny budgets. Understanding these tradeoffs is essential for tailoring strategies to match the mood – and the mood varies from one market to the next.

PhoCusWright's Destination Unknown: How U.S. and European Travelers Decide Where to Go 2012 compares leisure travel behavior in the U.S., France, Germany and the U.K., revealing dramatic differences across markets. In addition to outlining key trends in general travel behavior, this report explores how the process of destination selection is evolving, tracking year-over-year shifts in the information sources, online features and websites used in destination selection.

Report topics include:

  • Overall consumer travel trends in each market, including travel incidence, spend and frequency
  • Destination selection patterns for domestic and international travelers (distinguishing between European travelers who travel within versus outside of Europe)
  • Analysis of travelers who independently selected a leisure travel destination in the past year, including travel spend and frequency
  • Timing of when travelers choose their destination and the specialized process that sets destination selection apart from other travel decisions
  • Motivators for selecting a travel destination and specific sources of influence
  • Information sources and websites used when choosing a destination
  • Discussion of the most influential types of social media and online features in each market
Purchase Destination Unknown: How U.S. and European Travelers Decide Where to Go 2012 to master market differences and understand how to influence the destination selection process.

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Table of Contents

40 Pages

Section 1: Overview, Methodology and Research Highlights

Section 2: General Travel Behavior and Intentions
- Lodging and Air Traveler Incidence
- International Travel

Section 3: The Destination Decision
- Independent Destination Selection
- Sources of Influence
- Information Sources
- Advance Booking Window
- Influence of Online Features


LIST OF TABLES


U.S. Lodging and Air Traveler Incidence

Europe Lodging, Air, Rail Traveler Incidence

U.S. Overall Traveler Statistics

Germany Overall Traveler Statistics

France Overall Traveler Statistics

U.K. Overall Traveler Statistics

Domestic and International Travel Incidence (U.S.)

Domestic and International Travel Incidence (France, Germany, U.K.)

Intentions for Traveling Distance, by Farthest Distance Traveled in Prior Year

Leisure Destination Types (Incidence Among Travelers)

Leisure Destination Types (Percentage of Total Trips)

Independent Destination Selector Profile (U.S.)

Independent Destination Selector Profile (France, Germany and U.K.)

Motivation to Selected Destination (Last Trip)

Influences on Destination Selection (Last Trip)

Influences on Destination Selection, by Destination Type (Last Trip)

Influences on Destination Selection, by Destination Type and Market (Last Trip)

Factors Affecting Destination Selection (Last Trip)

Online Information Sources Used for Destination Selection (Last Trip)

Offline Information Sources Used for Destination Selection (Last Trip)

Internet Usage for Destination Selection (Last Trip) and Shopping (Typical Behavior)

Number of Websites Typically Used to Pick Destinations Online

Websites Used for Destination Selection (Last Trip)

Advance Booking Times (Relative to Planned Departure Date

Advance Booking Times (Relative to Planned Departure Date), by Destination Type

Online Features Used During Travel Planning (U.S.)

Online Features Used During Travel Planning (France)

Online Features Used During Travel Planning (Germany)

Online Features Used During Travel Planning (U.K.)

Methodology

PhoCusWright's Destination Unknown: How U.S. and European Travelers Decide Where to Go 2012 is based on separate online surveys of U.S. and European consumers, the full results of which are published in PhoCusWright's U.S. Consumer Travel Report Fourth Edition (CTR 4) and PhoCusWright's European Consumer Travel Report Third Edition (ECTR 3). The methodology for each survey is detailed below. As the studies were fielded at different times, the time period examined in the results is not exactly parallel. To simplify the terminology in this report, results from the two studies are referred to as "2012" results. However, these results reflect consumer behavior over a period that spans 2011 and 2012.

Note that U.K. spend is expressed in euros in both charts and text. Where relevant, when comparing U.S. and European spend, values are converted in parentheses in the report text only. The conversion rate is based on a 12-month average ending on January 1, 2012.