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TripAdvisor Global Study Reveals Traveler Spending and Accommodation Profitability Expected To Rise in 2013

TripAdvisor Announces Results of TripBarometer: World's Largest Accommodation and Traveler Survey with More than 35,000 Global Respondents

 

NEWTON, Mass., March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today announces the results of the world's largest accommodation and traveler survey – the TripBarometer by TripAdvisor. This study, conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm StrategyOne, a division of Edelman Berland, will be biannual and covers top travel and hospitality industry trends according to more than 35,000 travelers and accommodations from around the world.

View infographic here.

The results of the TripBarometer highlight country level, regional and global trends within the travel sector and reveal insights into economic outlook, travel planning, booking methods and traveler expectations. Specific to the U.S., the report shows strong indicators for increased travel spending and accommodation profitability in 2013.

U.S. Accommodations Optimistic About Profitability in 2013

Forty-two percent of U.S. travelers are planning to increase travel spending this year and 79 percent of U.S. hoteliers are optimistic about increased profit this year, leading the world average of 68 percent.

Region % of respondents optimistic about business profitability in 2013

United States 79%

North America 82%

South America 77%

Asia 72%

Africa 71%

Middle East 71%

Australasia 65%

Europe 54%

Global 68%

Perhaps fueled by this optimism, 56 percent of U.S. accommodations plan to increase their room rates in the next three months, making them the most bullish about rate hikes of all countries polled. 

Region % of respondents who plan to increase room rates 

United States 56%

South America 48%

North America 43%

Asia 42%

Africa 41%

Middle East 39%

Australasia 36%

Europe 32%

Global 40%

Looking at hiring trends within the accommodation industry, 19 percent of U.S. accommodations plan to add new jobs in 2013, which matches the global average. 

Key 2013 Booking Factors for U.S. Travelers

What are U.S. travelers looking for in 2013 — and how and when do they plan to book? The TripBarometer offers some important insights:

Beach (21%), culture (17%) and adventure (15%) trips are U.S. travelers’ preferred excursions.

U.S. travelers most often travel with a significant other (60%), followed by flying solo (17%) and with kids (15%).

For a long trip, 80 percent of U.S. travelers begin planning their vacation two or more months ahead of time. For a short excursion, 77 percent plan their trip within a month of departure.

Globally, travelers look at an average of seven properties before booking an accommodation, with 55 percent of U.S. travelers considering 1-5 options, and 26 percent considering 6-10.

The top three decision making factors for global travelers are: price (76%), location (68%) and online reviews (44%). U.S. travelers agree.

What deals will motivate U.S. travelers to book in 2013? Room discounts (79%), a free night’s stay with booking (51%) and free Wi-Fi (45%).

Online Channels Acting As Megaphone For Traditional ‘Word of Mouth’ 

The TripBarometer reveals that travel review websites surpass feedback from family and friends as the “most useful” sources of information when researching and planning a trip.

Information Source Percent of U.S. respondents finding source “most useful”

Travel review websites 49%

Web-based travel agencies 19%

Travel operator websites 14%

Friends and family 9%

Other 4%

Social media 3%

Travel magazines & brochures 2%

High street travel agencies 1%

With travelers going online for their travel research and planning, they are also showing preference for online as the primary booking channel. In the U.S., the majority of travelers are booking via accommodations’ websites (32%), closely followed by web-based travel agencies (28%).

In line with these findings, U.S. business owners report their own website as the channel that generates the most bookings (50%), followed by the telephone (22%). 

Accommodations Not Meeting Travelers’ Mobile Expectations

According to the TripBarometer, 62 percent of U.S. travelers think it is beneficial that properties allow them to book an accommodation via a mobile device. Similarly, 78 percent of accommodations think it is important to allow guests to book their property on a mobile device.

However, despite the perceived importance of mobile booking capabilities and consumer demand for this, only 37 percent of U.S. businesses currently engage with guests via mobile devices. Of those that do engage with travelers via mobile, 69 percent allow guests to book rooms on mobile devices. 

“The TripBarometer has revealed useful insights into what global travelers are planning and shone a light on the areas where accommodation providers can do more to meet guests’ expectations,” said Christine Petersen, President, TripAdvisor for Business. “With travelers choosing digital channels for their travel planning and research, traditional word of mouth has been amplified and online booking has become the norm across the globe. The next logical step is mobile, especially considering that travelers in some emerging markets are bypassing desktops and getting online for the first time using mobile devices. Furthermore, as travel budgets increase and U.S. accommodations increase room rates, it seems likely that the travel industry is poised to excel in the U.S. this year.” 

¹ Methodology: The TripBarometer by TripAdvisor is based upon an online survey conducted in December 2012 – January 2013. A total of 35,042 people participated in the online survey from 26 countries spanning 7 regions. The sample is made up of 15,595 consumers and 19,447 businesses, making it the world’s largest combined accommodation and traveler survey. More than 2,000 U.S. travelers and more than 3,000 U.S. accommodation businesses participated in the survey.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site,* enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, with more than 60 million unique monthly visitors*, and over 75 million reviews and opinions. The sites operate in 30 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 19 other travel media brands, and together the sites attract more than 75 million unique monthly visitors.** TripAdvisor, Inc.'s travel media brands include www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.onetime.com, www.seatguru.com, www.sniqueaway.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travel-library.com, www.travelpod.com, www.virtualtourist.com, www.whereivebeen.com, and www.kuxun.cn.

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, Worldwide, January 2013

**Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor, Inc. and its subsidiaries, Worldwide, January 2013

©2013 TripAdvisor, Inc. All rights reserved. 

SOURCE TripAdvisor