Americans plan to travel more frequently this summer, according to the results of a consumer survey released by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS). Consumers in the Midwest are most likely to spend more money this summer due to the harsh winter weather. And as more than 8 in 10 consumers (84%) say that they will drive for a summer vacation, convenience stores expect to see plenty of traffic at the gas pumps this summer.
Airline passengers might be taking a closer look at the SkyMall magazine in the seat pocket in front of them, as more airlines add mobile payment options. More than a third (36%) of airlines plan to accept mobile payments on-board flights within the next two years, according to a new survey. Airlines expect mobile payment options to create extra revenue as more passengers pay for a flight, buy an upgrade, buy in-flight goods, etc.
Just over half of travelers (52%) plan to stay at a vacation rental in 2014, up eight percent compared to those who stayed in a rental last year. The top three reasons travelers will choose a vacation rental over a hotel stay this year are: more living space (67%), lower rates than hotels (53%), and better amenities (50%), according to a recent TripAdvisor survey. Summer is the most popular season for vacation rentals as 65% plan stays between June and August.
Spafinder Wellness 365 recently released its 11th annual trends report of the top 10 spa and wellness trends that will impact the hospitality, spa and wellness industry, as well as consumers, in 2014. As wellness takes on new dimensions and becomes a key ingredient in travel and technology, spas help people face life challenges; and new fitness and beauty trends help us all be healthier.
The U.S. travel industry is expected to continue growing in 2014, as consumers are increasingly becoming more confident in the economy and are comfortable spending more of their discretionary income on travel. New surveys highlight popular destinations and cruise trends for the new year. In addition, business travel will increase substantially in 2014 and further trigger growth in the travel and hospitality industries.
Approximately 34.1 million Americans are expected to journey 50 miles or more from home during the upcoming Labor Day holiday, a 4.2% increase from the 32.7 million people who traveled last year, according to AAA Travel. The anticipated increase in holiday travel is predominantly due to increased consumer spending and the improving housing market. The total number of 2013 Labor Day holiday travelers is expected to reach a new post-recession high.
U.S. Hispanics have been on the leading edge of mobile adoption. By yearend, an estimated 25.6 million Hispanics (46.9% of this demographic group) will be using smartphones. Hispanic travelers are heavy mobile users during travel as well. Nearly 24% of U.S. Hispanic travelers “almost always” used their mobile phones to search for a hotel before traveling.
Mobile traffic is becoming increasingly significant for the travel industry, and hotels in particular. With tablet and smartphone usage increasing, consumer behaviors on each device are becoming more distinct. Tablet browsing is much more like PC usage than smartphone research, the latter of which tends to occur in last-minute, on-the-go situations.
Direct travel spending in the United States totaled $855 billion in 2012, generating $2 trillion in economic output and more than $129 billion in tax revenue. While “travel” frequently connotes tourism, business travel accounts for nearly a third of all travel spending, according to a new survey. U.S. business travel is responsible for $246 billion in spending and 2.3 million American jobs.
Twenty-six percent of U.S. Tour Operators Association (USTOA) tour operators expect 2013 to be a “boom year” for travel, with sales increasing more than 10%. Top Travel Trends predicted for 2013 include multigenerational travel, a rise in longer trips, and “insta-travel” social sharing. Travel advisors still continue to be the lead influencer in determining their clients’ travel decisions, followed closely by input from friends and family.
According to a new study by TripAdvisor, there is a strong correlation between social media and travel, as 76% of consumers polled said they share travel experiences via social networks. Forty-two percent use social channels for travel planning while 40% do so for travel inspiration. Thirty-seven percent think social networks have made travel planning easier.
The lure of lower prices and fewer crowds have convinced 68% of respondents to plan a trip before Thanksgiving, according to a recent Orbitz survey. The top spots for travelers to head this fall are Las Vegas, New York and Chicago. 39% of survey respondents deem fall the most economical time of year to travel, followed by summer (23%), winter (20%) and spring (18%).