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travelhorizons™

The only forward-viewing national survey of future leisure travel intentions of Americans. Conducted every 90 days.

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TRAVELHORIZONS™ FINDINGS

MMGY Global travelhorizons™ 

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 110, down five points from April 2018 (115) and down six points from Wave III 2017 (116). 

Compared to Wave III 2017, all components displayed large decreases from last year, with the exception of perceived safety of travel, which displayed no change. Perceived affordability of travel (160) decreased fourteen points from the comparable wave last year (174), while time available to travel (105) is down eight points (113). Personal finances available for travel (118), quality of service (113) and interest in travel (97), all decreased by six points from Wave III 2017. Perceived affordability of travel (160), personal finances available for travel (118) and quality of service (113) are the highest scoring components of the TSI, while perceived safety of travel is the lowest (96).

Leisure Travel Intentions 

Six in ten (59%) U.S. adults plan to take at least one overnight leisure trip during the next six months, down significantly from the percentage who reported so in Wave III 2017 (65%). Those planning to take such a trip 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 (2.5 trips). 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, nearly one quarter (23%) expect to spend more, compared to 15% who expect to spend less – resulting in a net 8 point positive difference in vacation spending intentions. A takeaway from these numbers is that travelers are planning to spend more per trip in the next six months than they planned to a year ago.

Financial Factors Influencing Leisure Travel 

The table below summarizes the data for U.S. adults who are less likely to travel as a result of concerns about the financial factors explored in the survey, which are ranked in descending order by their perceived significance. It should be noted that a decrease means that survey respondents are stating that the factor listed has less of a negative impact on their likelihood to travel, while an increase means the factor has a greater impact on their likelihood to travel.

The largest increase from last year was seen in the price of a gallon of gas (up nine points), followed by the price of visiting theme parks and attractions (up four points). A high level of credit card debt, the expectation of making less money and the value of their investment portfolio are all up three points from last year, while the remaining factors displayed little to no change.

The financial factors influencing travel most negatively include a high level of credit card debt (37%), the expectation of losing one’s job (36%), the expectation of making less money (32%) and the price of cruises (31%).

Business Travel Intentions 

Three in ten U.S. adults expect to take a business trip during the next six months (28%), down significantly from the percentage expecting to do so in 2017. Those who are planning to take a business trip plan to take 2.9 such trips on average, down from the 3.2 trips reported in Wave III 2017.

Traveler Satisfaction  

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.

Compared to Wave III 2017, satisfaction with all travel service provider categories decreased. The largest decrease was displayed among satisfaction with lodging (down 9 points), followed by cruises (down 6 points), airlines (down 4 points) and rental cars (down 2 points). It should be pointed out that, despite the decreases in satisfaction from last year, satisfaction with cruises and rental cars have increased from Wave II 2018 (cruises: up 8 points, rental cars: up 1 point).  Cruises continue to garner the highest level of satisfaction (138), while airlines remain the lowest rated (111).

About travelhorizonsTM 

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 2,303 pre-qualified adults was conducted July 12 – July 27, 2018. 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 2018 travelhorizonsTM report. 

HAVE A TRAVELHORIZONS QUESTION? TALK TO STEVE COHEN.

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