Shorties but Goodies: Average Trip Length Declines, Paradoxically Signaling Recovery
Author: PhoCusWright Inc.
Published: August 11, 2011
After a sharp cut in extraneous long weekends and short trips during the depths of the recession, trips of three nights or less are making a comeback, according to PhoCusWright's Consumer Travel Report Third Edition. And while a decline in average trip length may seem like bad news for travel companies, in the topsy-turvy world of recovery, it signals a consumer travel market on the mend.
Of all leisure trips taken in 2010, 45% fell into the shortest category (three nights or less), up from 41% in 2009. But while average trip length declined, there was no material shift away from taking longer trips. Slightly fewer travelers took trips of 7-13 nights, while slightly more took trips of 14 nights or more in 2010 compared to 2009. So what gives?
"After eliminating shorter, lower-priority getaways the previous year, some travelers added short trips back to their 2010 budgets," explains Carroll Rheem, director, research. "In addition, fair-weather travelers stepped back into the traveler pool by taking short trips rather than long ones."
Intentions for trip duration in 2011 show optimism concentrated among travelers who took shorter trips the previous year. Travelers whose longest trip was 4-6 nights display the strongest uptick in optimism, with 30% planning to take longer trips (up from 22% in the previous year’s survey).
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, a Global Edition publication, 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.