Getting by With a Little Help From Friends

Published September 2012 Analyst: David Juman


Getting by With a Little Help From Friends

While economic recovery inches forward in the U.S., progress has taken a detour in the Eurozone – prompting some Europeans to make compromises when planning their leisure travel. According to an upcoming Phocuswright Global and European Edition report, Destination Unknown: How U.S. and European Travelers Decide Where to Go 2012, although a larger share of U.S. travelers visited a destination of their choosing in 2012, discretionary travel declined among European travelers.

"Though Europe continues to rank higher than the U.S. on many key travel metrics, year over year trending reveals that U.S. travelers are feeling relatively more confident than their European counterparts," said Carroll Rheem, Phocuswright's senior director, research. "As many Europeans put their dream trips on the back burner, spare bedrooms and couches are hosting more visitors in 2012."

The share of U.S. travelers who visited an independently selected vacation destination in 2012 increased by 2% to 60%, while incidence fell by 2-3% in France, Germany and the U.K. European travelers were more likely to lean on friends and relatives to help fit a vacation into their budget compared to the previous year. The share of travelers in all three European markets who traveled to a destination to visit friends/family increased by 2%, consistent with lower consumption of paid lodging.

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 (US$995) to master market differences and understand how to influence the destination selection process.