Are Consumers Moving Away From 'Authentic Travel?'

by Richard D'Ambrosio
Are Consumers Moving Away From 'Authentic Travel?'

A local bazar in Budapest.


The travel industry for years has been promoting the concept that travelers want to immerse themselves in local cultures and festivals, family-owned small restaurants and other authentic experiences.  

But according to this year’s American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) “How America Travels” national survey, consumers may literally be looking to take a break. When asked to name the most important reason to travel for leisure, 64% of the survey’s 1,522 respondents said “relaxing,” followed by “quality time” with family (59%), seeing natural sights (38%), seeing historic sites (34%) and going to the beach (29%). Experiencing different foods was sixth (25%) and exploring other cultures was eighth (21%). 

“Consumers still want an authentic and local experience, but what shot to the top as the primary reason to travel is to relax, and find time with friends and family,” said ASTA president Zane Kerby. 

Still, Kerby said ASTA isn’t sure if this is “a huge shift or a blip.” 

While behaviors may be changing, ASTA members are still the best suited to advise travelers on immersive experiences. Kerby said the average ASTA travel agent has traveled to more than 73 countries and been in business more than 25 years. 

Other good news for travel agents is that 32% of Millennials have taken at least one cruise in the past five years, and 61% of them enjoyed it. According to ASTA’s survey, 20% of GenXers have taken a cruise in the past five years, while 18% of Baby Boomers have as well. ASTA’s survey showed that 45% of GenXers said they enjoyed their cruise experience, while 56% of Baby Boomers said the same. 

Of all who have taken a cruise, travelers find onboard food and beverage appealing (57%), followed by relaxing (54%), ports of call (43%), shows and entertainment and the convenience of seeing multiple ports of call (tied at 39%). Excursions came in at seventh, appealing to 37% of cruisers. 

ASTA did break out cruise appeal by age group, and found that 57% of Baby Boomers find an itinerary’s ports of call appealing, much higher than Gen Xers (40%) and Millennials (31%). Millennials felt onboard social activities were the most appealing, at 32%. 

One disturbing finding is that 27% of Americans did not take a vacation in 2016. The behavior appears to be based on income and price, as 41% of Americans earning less than $50,000 didn’t take a vacation, while 19% of Americans earning $50,000-99,000 didn’t, 13% of those earning $100,000-149,000 didn’t, and 8% of those earning more than $150,000 didn’t.

  0
  0
Tip of the Day

The cruise experience starts the moment a guest books their cruise. It won’t finish until they are back at home after their vacation. Many things happen in between. Airports, flights, transfers, terminals, embarkation, life onboard, ports of call, shore excursions, disembarkation, etc. None of us, alone, is in a position to guarantee a front-to-end amazing experience. But together, we can.

Pierfrancesco Vago
MSC Cruises

Daily Top List

Tips for Traveling with Gifts this Holiday Season

1. Do not wrap your gifts before traveling.

2. If they are wrapped, put gifts in a checked bag.

3. Don’t forget to check airline baggage fees.

4. Consider putting presents in gift bags.

5. Make sure to check TSA restrictions.

Source: This Is Insider

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=0dc070f2-85e6-e811-ba59-782bcb66a2f2

Beyond Booking Travel: Where the True Impact Lies

In an industry that advances thanks to the traveling public’s leisure choices, some travel players are doing their part to ignite positive change that will have long-lasting effects.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Travel Industry Assesses Impact from Midterm Elections
Travel Industry Assesses Impact from Midterm Elections

Top Washington, D.C.-based associations begin to chart the impact on travel.

Paying to Play: Travel Agents Up 2019 Advertising Budgets
Paying to Play: Travel Agents Up 2019 Advertising Budgets

Lainie Melnick uses paid advertising in the local newspaper to beat a tough competitor, while Gary Smith’s paid Facebook ads helped grow his business by 37 percent. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money.

How Can Travel Agents Protect Client Relationships with Hotels?
How Can Travel Agents Protect Client Relationships with Hotels?

What you need to know about executing an agreement that tells hotel management that you are bringing them a business opportunity and you expect to be treated respectfully.

Cutting Through the Perplexity: Final Thoughts for Travel Agents
Cutting Through the Perplexity: Final Thoughts for Travel Agents

The adoption and complexity of the use of artificial intelligence in the travel marketing process may well reinforce the value for consumers of using a travel advisor.

Will Pennsylvania’s New Hotel Tax Law Ensnare Some Travel Agents?
Will Pennsylvania’s New Hotel Tax Law Ensnare Some Travel Agents?

The state recently passed a law requiring “booking agents” to apply state taxes to a traveler’s full lodging purchase including markups and service fees.

Four Pointers on ‘Telling and Selling’ Travel
Four Pointers on ‘Telling and Selling’ Travel

Travel advisors must master the art of listening to the client to determine their needs and wants. Then the ‘telling and selling’ takes over.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Tauck