The Trend - November 2010
Following is the November 2010 issue of The Trend, NTA's monthly research newsletter. We hope you enjoy the information and find it of the utmost value and usefulness.
If you have any questions or comments regarding The Trend, please contact Lisa Thompson at 800.682.8886, ext. 4214.
In this Issue:
- Americans Least Adventurous Vacation Traveler
- Get Ready For Beefed-Up Airport Security-Just In Time For The Holidays
- Online Travel Trends
- Spotting a Deal Seeker Vs. Shopper Online
- Strong Rebound In Inbound U.S. Travel Projected
- Did you know...
Americans Least Adventurous Vacation Travelers
Who are the most adventurous travelers on their vacations? According to some recent studies, it's not Americans. UK-based Opinion Matters, commissioned by Intrepid Travel, set out to see what nationality of traveler is the most adventurous. They polled 1,000 travelers in each of the following countries: U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK. Respondents were asked to reveal how likely they were to try a variety of holiday experiences including eating deep fried tarantula, sleeping in a hilltop village hut, going on safari, etc.
Here are a few of the findings:
- The least adventurous are U.S. travelers with the New Zealander being the most adventurous
- In the U.S., Californians were the most adventurous overall
- Who is most likely to eat the deep fried tarantula? New Englanders are twice as likely than the national average to indulge.
- When it comes to sleeping under the stars in a desert camp, people from Washington, D.C. were the least likely (26.5%) while San Diegans were the most likely (68.4%)
- New Englanders are most likely to haggle at local markets (60.5%) as compared to the more genteel Southerner (37.9%).
Get Ready For Beefed-Up Airport Security-Just In Time For The Holidays
There are some enhanced security measures that airports will be implementing just in time for the rush of the holiday travel season. Below is information that will be important to understand and share with your travelers to make the process as easy as possible for your customers.
Here are a few things to be aware as 2010 comes to an end and into 2011:
Body Scanners - many travelers and privacy advocates don't like them, but they are growing in number in many U.S. airports. There are now almost 300 scanners at 61 U.S. airports and they're expecting to have 450 more installed by the end of the year. One thing to remember is that any traveler can request a pat-down instead of going through the body scanner.
Secure Flight - Secure Flight is a behind-the-scenes effort by TSA to better match potential terrorists with watch lists. The program formally started on Nov. 1 and requires airlines to collect a passenger's full name, birth date and gender at booking. Passengers not providing this info at least 72 hours before their flight won't get a boarding pass. Some suggestions to make sure this new Secure Flight program doesn't derail your travel plans include checking for misspellings on your ticket, not using nicknames when booking travel, inputting your name exactly as it appears on your passport or drivers license and paying close attention to newly changed last names (recently married or divorced). TSA estimates that only 1 percent of travelers won't make it through security because of a discrepancy but minor discrepancies like this can cause delays at security that can cause frustration, particularly at busy travel times.
Online Travel Trends
A recent study released by Travelport in conjunction with The Futures Company and Lightspeed Research looked at why people travel, how they plan to book trips and the services the value most. They surveyed 12,000 travelers in 12 countries around the world and here are a few of the top-line findings when it comes to using the Internet for travel:
- The survey shows a huge jump toward the Internet as a source of information and a place to book. The assumption held by many that it is younger travelers using the Internet was proved incorrect as all age groups use the Internet to plan and book travel with usage dropping only after age 65.
- Social networks, friends and families significantly influence both leisure and business traveler decisions, particularly in India, China and the United Arab Emirates.
- Particularly in countries where fixed high-speed broadband is still developing, like Brazil, China, India, Russia and the UAE, consumers would like mobile services to enhance their travel experience such as the ability to receive information about their destination to their mobile phones.
- Leisure travelers look to search engines (Google or Yahoo!) as their primary source of information online (65%), followed by airline Websites (40%), destination Websites (40%), hotel Websites (36%), travel Websites (TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, etc.) (31%), Online travel agency (25%) and social networking sites (10%).
Source: The Well Connected Traveller, Travelport
Spotting a Deal Seeker Vs. Shopper Online
Deal Seekers (30 percent of online Americans aged 15 and older) and Shoppers (24 percent) are two segments of online consumers that companies can fine on social networks, according to ExactTarget. How can you tell them apart? Here are some characteristics of the Deal Seekers versus the Shoppers:
- Most members of this segment are age 25-44 (51%) and 58 percent are female
- They have an average household income of $57,487
- Most Deal Seekers are women (58%) and 45 percent of women with children under age 18 fall into this segment
- 89 percent use e-mail daily and 39 percent check Facebook daily with 5 percent checking Twitter daily
- Deal Seekers view social media connections with brands as a means to obtain exclusive deals, freebies, discounts, coupons and notifications
- The average Deal Seeker is a fan of 10 brands on Facebook and follows 10 companies on Twitter
- They receive an average of 14 permission-based e-mails a day, 20 percent more than the average consumer
- They actively participate in ratings and review sections of retailers' Web sites
- Most members of this segment are age 25-34 (22%) with another 22 percent in the 34-44 age range and 21 percent age 45-54
- 48 percent have a household income of $50,000 or more
- 57 percent of Shoppers are women and are less likely than average to have children at home
- 88 percent use e-mail daily and 39 percent check Facebook daily while 6 percent visit Twitter daily
- Shoppers view social media connections with brands as an opportunity to learn more and research the products they intend to buy
- They are focused more on learning about product quality than about deals
- Shoppers are selective about the brands they follow online
- They are 35 percent more likely to buy from companies that send them e-mail, 27 percent more likely to buy from brands they follow on Twitter and 17 percent more likely to buy from brands they fan on Facebook
- They are most interested in learning about new products and promotions for big-ticket items.
Take these characteristics and look at your Facebook fan-base and Twitter followers. If you can categorize your customers into these two sub-sets, you can target your marketing message to more effectively close the sale.
Source: Research Alert, Sept. 17, 2010, Vol. XXVIII, No. 18.
Strong Rebound In Inbound U.S. Travel Projected
The U.S. Commerce Department is projecting a solid rebound for inbound travel with a 51 percent increase in international from 2009 through 2015, putting arrival totals at almost 83 million. Here's what the forecast looks like for some of the top inbound markets:
North America-The top two markets for inbound travel-Canada and Mexico- are forecast to increase in 2010 by 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively, and grow by 47 and 49 percent from 2009 to 2015. Canada and Mexico would both set new records annually beginning in 2010.
Europe-Visitors from Europe are expected to increase by 1 percent in 2010 and have slow growth over the next three years. By 2015, arrivals from Europe will be 25 percent higher than the 2009 total. The highest projected growth in visitation forecasts are from Sweden, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
Asia-Pacific-Asia is projected to generate a visitor increase of 19 percent in 2010 and then post smaller but steady annual increases over the next several years for a total of 97 percent increase from 2009 to 2015. Japan, the largest Asian market, is forecast to increase by 13 percent in 2010 and post slower growth through 2015. However, high growth rates are expected for China (40%), South Korea (35%) and India (15%).
South America-South America is projected to increase by 16 percent in 2010, one of the highest growth rates of any region, and will remain a leader in arrivals for the next several years. By 2015, South America will generate more than 5.3 million visitors, a 92 percent increase from 2009. Brazil is the largest source market and is expected to increase 35 percent in 2010 and produce a record 1.2 million visitors. By 2015, the U.S. could host a record 2.7 million Brazilian visitors-a 198% increase over 2009. Argentina is forecast to post a 17 percent increase in 2010 and a total of 69 percent increase by 2015.
- From the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries, international visitors have spent an estimated $88.3 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods from January to August 2010, an increase of 10% over 2009. Conversely, Americans have spent nearly $68.5 billion abroad year-to-date for an increase of 4% over last year.
- Hotels.com found that travelers spend an average of $114 per night on a hotel room in the U.S.
- The American Affluence Research Center study found that 41% of affluent Americans (those in the top 10% of households based on annual income) are making an effort to reduce or defer spending in the coming year. That's down from 50% this time last year.
- According to a study from Community Marketing, Inc., 78% of LGBT respondents stated that knowing a company is LGBT-owned or LGBT-friendly would influence their purchasing decision.
- The Mexico Tourism Board recently launched a Visit Mexico iPhone application letting users select among six regions and all 32 states to receive tourism information including news, weather, activities, videos and Google Map links