U.S. Consumer Travel Report Fifth Edition

U.S. Consumer Travel Report Fifth Edition Published April 2013 Analysts: Marcello Gasdia, Carroll Rheem


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While the U.S. economy is showing clear signs of recovery, mixed consumer signals are continuing to make vacation decisions difficult for many Americans. Improved stock index performance and a rebounding real estate market have helped to boost consumer spending. Yet a heated 2012 presidential election put uncertainty in the spotlight, and debates rage on over budget deficits, job creation, the future of social security and more.

Phocuswright's U.S. Consumer Travel Report Fifth Edition explores how these mixed economic signals are impacting traveler confidence and much more through a longitudinal analysis of consumer travel behavior. The report provides a comprehensive view of U.S. leisure travel trends, including the factors that drove consumer travel behavior in 2012 and fundamental indicators for understanding trends in 2013. Based on an online survey of more than 2,500 U.S. consumers who play an active role in planning their leisure trips, the report tracks and analyzes a range of travel-related behavior.

Key topics include:

  • General traveler behavior, including incidence of travel, trip frequency and duration, travel party composition and travel spend
  • Travel component purchase incidence, with detailed analysis of air and lodging spend, and types of accommodations used
  • Websites used in various stages of online travel planning – destination selection, shopping, purchasing and sharing
  • Trip motivation and information sources used in destination research
  • Traveler shopping behavior, including types of websites used, online and offline sources of information, and online features used during travel shopping
  • Most popular travel purchasing channels, online versus offline purchasing, and typical purchase methods by age and travel segment

Understand and leverage the key trends that are driving the behavior of today's travelers – purchase now.

  • Overview, Methodology and Research Highlights
    • Overview
    • Methodology
    • Research Highlights
      • Recovery falls flat
      • Boomers are keeping their eye on the prize
      • Passports get more mileage
      • Many remain open to suggestion
      • Metasearch gains while general search and OTAs wane
      • Lodging gets a little upgrade
      • More go online to decide where to go
      • Tablets match smartphones in mobile shopping
      • Airline sites finally push past OTAs for booking
  • General Travel Behavior
    • Quick Stats:
    • Trip Frequency and Duration
      • Quick Stats:
    • Annual Household Travel Spend
      • Quick Stats:
    • Other General Travel Behaviors
      • Quick Stats:
    • Travel Party Composition
    • International Travel
  • Travel Components
    • Lodging and Air Travel Incidence
      • Quick Stats:
    • Other Travel Components
  • The Online Travel Planning Process
    • Quick Stats:
  • The Destination Selection Phase
    • Quick Stats:
  • The Shopping Phase
    • Quick Stats:
  • The Travel Purchase Phase
    • Online vs. Offline Purchasing
      • Quick Stats:
    • Channel Purchase Behavior: Air
      • Quick Stats:
    • Channel Purchase Behavior: Lodging
      • Quick Stats:
  • Demographics

Phocuswright fielded an online consumer survey January 25-29, 2013 through Global Market Insite, Inc., targeting the general U.S. adult population who has Internet access and travels for leisure.

To qualify for participation in the study, respondents had to indicate they had taken at least one leisure trip at least 75 miles from home in the past 12 months that included paid lodging and/or air travel. An additional screener required consumers to have played an active role in planning their leisure trips. Respondents who qualified are referred to as "U.S. travelers." The term "lodging" is used in this report to refer to the broad range of paid accommodations – hotels and other nightly priced lodging products, as well as timeshares and vacation rentals.

Phocuswright received 2,520 qualified responses, and the weighted respondent pool can be projected with confidence to the U.S. adult population with Internet access. A total of 4,839 respondents were surveyed to obtain baseline metrics about travelers and non-travelers within the general online population. The error interval for analysis of the U.S. traveler population is +/–2.0% at a 95% confidence level. Significant differences noted in this report were identified at a 95% confidence level.

Based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Pew Research Center, Phocuswright projects the number of U.S. adults with Internet access who have taken at least one leisure trip (as previously defined) to be 115 milion people in 2012 (see Figure 1). These travelers represent 50% of the total U.S. population. The additional requirement for respondents to have played an active role in travel planning further tightens the focus of the study, as 18% of travelers were consequently disqualified. Phocuswright's Consumer Travel Report Fifth Edition examines travelers who played an active role in planning their trips.

US $1,495 
CA $1,980 • £1,136 • €1,348
FREE for Open Access Subscribers
Add to Cart