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MMGY Global travelhorizons™
(Survey Period: July 15, 2016–July 24, 2016)
Traveler Sentiment IndexTM
The overall Traveler Sentiment Index™ (TSI), derived from six variables associated with demand for travel services (interest in travel, time for travel, personal finances available for travel, affordability of travel, quality of service, and perceived safety of travel) now stands at 116, down from the record high in April 2016 (121) but up 5 points from one year ago (111).
U.S. adults continue to feel positively about all components of travel with the exception of perceived safety of travel (88), which dropped 7 points from Wave III 2015. Time available for travel (117) displayed the largest increase from one year ago–up 11 points. Personal finances available for travel (124) and quality of service (121) also increased from last year – increasing 9 and 7 points respectively. U.S. adults continue to feel most positive about the perceived affordability of travel (172).
Leisure Travel Intentions
Seven in 10 (68%) U.S. adults plan to take at least one overnight leisure trip during the next six months, up significantly from Wave III 2015 (61%). Those planning to take at least one vacation during the next six months plan to take an average of 2.4 trips during that time, unchanged from the average reported one year ago. When asked if they plan to spend more, less, or about the same amount on leisure travel during the next six months compared to the same six months last year, three in 10 (28%) expect to spend more, compared to 12% who expect to spend less — resulting in a net 16-point positive difference in vacation spending intentions.
Financial Factors Influencing Leisure Travel
All financial factors displayed decreases in travel for U.S. adults in concern from Wave III 2015 while more than half displayed significant decreases. Attitudes toward the price of a gallon of gas (19%) and price of air travel (31%) displayed the largest decreases from last year – down 7 and 6 percentage points respectively.
The financial factors influencing travel most negatively include the expectation of losing one’s job (34%), a high level of credit card debt (34%), the price of cruises (33%) and the expectation of making less money (32%).
Interest in Activities While on Vacation
U.S. adults were asked their level of interest in participating in more than 30 different activities while on vacation. Interest in all activities measured either increased or remained constant from last year.
Many of the activities displayed significant increases from Wave III 2015. A constant theme in these activities is the adventurous and active nature of them. Significantly more U.S. adults are interested in visiting a national park (from 58% to 61%), visiting a state park (from 53% to 57%) or visiting a mountain area (from 49% to 54%) than reported interest last year. The percentage of U.S. adults interested in hiking (from 33% to 38%), camping (from 32% to 37%) and fishing (from 30% to 36%) also increased significantly from one year ago.
Business Travel Intentions
The percentage of U.S. adults who expect to take a business trip (34%) during the next six months increased significantly from the percentage who expressed such an intention in Wave III 2015 (28%). Those who are planning to take a business trip plan to take 2.9 trips on average, down from the 3.4 trips reported in Wave III 2015.
The Traveler Satisfaction Index tracks changes in customer satisfaction among four categories of travel service providers: airlines, lodging companies, rental car companies and cruise lines. A value above 100 indicates that users of the service are more satisfied than the level expressed when the index was first introduced to the survey (first quarter of 2011), while a value below 100 indicates they are less satisfied.
Satisfaction with airlines (119) and rental cars (129) has increased slightly from last year while lodging (126) was unchanged and cruises (137) decreased 9 points. Although it displayed a decrease, U.S. adults continue to be most satisfied with cruises, followed by rental cars and lodging.
TravelhorizonsTM is a quarterly survey of Americans’ travel intentions viewed through the lens of emerging economic, social and political developments. This iteration of the nationally representative survey of 2,335 pre-qualified adults was conducted July 15–July 24, 2016. Statistically significant differences are cited at the 95-percent level of confidence.
More detailed analyses of these findings will be available in the forthcoming Wave III 2016 travelhorizonsTM report.