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

I do think there are possibilities for traveler advisors to make money doing domestic trips. I charge a planning fee for my time and expertise, and then book commissionable hotels and activities that meet the client’s needs.

Terri Weeks

Daily Top List

Best Resorts in Montana

1. The Resort at Paws Up

2. Blue Damsel Lodge on Rock Creek

3. Triple Creek Ranch

4. The Ranch at Rock Creek

5. Rainbow Ranch Lodge

Source: The Crazy Tourist

TMR THIS WEEK
http://services.travelsavers.com/AMGService.svc/REST/GetImage?ImageID=46d9854c-8d33-e911-b4aa-782bcb66a2f2

Give a Heads-Up, Get a Leg-Up in Business

Harness your knowledge, share your tips, and leave your clients wondering what else you know that they don’t.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
What Should Travel Agents Post on Social Media?
What Should Travel Agents Post on Social Media?

One company has studied what engages travelers the most on social media platforms, and offers its advice.

Travel Agents Assess Department of Labor’s Current Review of Overtime Pay Rules
Travel Agents Assess Department of Labor’s Current Review of Overtime Pay Rules

Department moves to increase annual salary threshold where employers have to pay overtime to $35,300.

Comprehensive Operations Help Allianz Build Comprehensive Coverage
Comprehensive Operations Help Allianz Build Comprehensive Coverage

At its vast Richmond, Virginia campus, Allianz Global Assistance finds that owning and managing travel insurance operations end-to-end helps it to consistently deliver value to customers.

How Can Travel Advisors Handle the Boeing 737 MAX Problem?
How Can Travel Advisors Handle the Boeing 737 MAX Problem?

The situation serves as a useful, though tragic, vehicle for reminding advisors of their responsibilities related to the safety of aircraft.

How to Sprinkle the Oprah Genius into Your Marketing Plan
How to Sprinkle the Oprah Genius into Your Marketing Plan

From finding your purpose to leveraging trends and refining selling strategies, Oprah laid out a roadmap for successful marketing.

How the Best Group Travel Advisors Keep Calm and Stay Efficient
How the Best Group Travel Advisors Keep Calm and Stay Efficient

Think getting into group travel will better maximize your time and your profits? Tread carefully, because more people, all traveling at the same time, requires efficiencies to be successful.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards & Outlooks
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: The Northern Lights of Finland