Fast Forward: Average Leisure Traveler Age Jumps Five Years
Author: PhoCusWright Inc.
Published: July 21, 2011
The recession and sluggish recovery have caused many Americans to grow a few gray hairs. But the impact was even more extreme for the average traveler, who aged five years in a single year, according to PhoCusWright's Consumer Travel Report Third Edition. A significant drop in travel incidence among young adults, coupled with a bounceback among younger boomers increased the average leisure traveler age to 44 in 2010, up from 39 the previous year.
"The impact of this age shift is far-reaching, particularly in relation to distribution channels and adoption of new media and technologies," said Carroll Rheem, director, research. "While the age distribution will normalize as the recovery continues, in the short term the older traveler pool is having a ripple effect on consumer trends."
Among 18-24 year olds, the incidence of taking a leisure trip declined to 65% in 2010, down from 71% the previous year. While the age group's incidence of travel remains above average (65% versus 63%), young adults have fallen the farthest below 2008 incidence levels. With many of these workforce newbies still struggling to find employment, meager earnings will continue to temper their significant appetite for travel.
At the other end of the age spectrum, a strong recovery among 45-54 year olds, along with a more modest rise in incidence among seniors (65 or older), further increased the average traveler age. Despite the comeback, however, the 45-54 year old age group remains significantly below 2008 incidence levels (73% in 2008 versus 63% in 2010) – reflecting a leisure travel market that has only partially recovered.
PhoCusWright's Consumer Travel Report Third Edition provides a comprehensive view of the status of consumer travel in the U.S., helping travel companies adapt their operations for the ever-changing landscape of the consumer travel marketplace. This report reviews the dynamics that drove consumer travel behavior in 2010 and highlights key indicators for understanding trends in 2011. Based on an online survey of more than 2,500 U.S. consumers, the report examines travelers who play an active role in planning their leisure trips. In addition to tracking fundamental behaviors such as the incidence of travel, the report analyzes the influence of various media, typical booking methods and the motives behind consumer decisions.
Key topics include:
- Overall travel incidence, trip frequency and duration
- Travel spend and budget intentions for the coming year
- In-depth analysis of lodging and air travel trends, and purchase incidence for car rental, cruise, rail, vacation packages and destination activities
- Comparison of consumer behavior by phase: destination selection, shopping, purchasing and sharing
- How U.S. travelers decide where to go
- Information sources and online features that influence travel shopping decisions
- Travel booking channels and purchase behavior
PhoCusWright's Consumer Travel Report Third Edition combines crucial consumer metrics with sophisticated analysis to help travel companies capitalize on the consumer trends impacting their business. Purchase today to gain deep insight into U.S. consumer behavior, attitudes and preferences.