A Travelocity forecast poll is aiming to show how travelers will plan, book and cope with the year ahead.The biggest change in 2007 starts Jan. 23 with new passport regulations going into effect requiring passports for those traveling by air to the Caribbean, Canada, and Mexico. However Travelocity’s annual forecast poll found that nearly one in four travelers was unaware of the new requirements, which could mean trouble for some in the year ahead. Uncovering the latest patterns and attitudes amongst travelers, this 2007 forecast shows consumers are resilient in response to higher fares, new airline policies, and changing security rules. The latest data offers insight into how travelers will cope with travel in the coming year.
With talk of consolidation and no end of higher fares in sight, when asked how these higher airfares might impact their travel plans, the largest group of respondents (51 percent) said it would depend on how much. Twenty-seven percent would take fewer trips, 18 percent would book earlier and 11 percent would book travel packages in an effort to dodge additional costs.
Travelers will continue to travel to far flung destinations in 2007, with Western Europe, the Caribbean and Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific ranking as the most desired international regions to visit. Once travelers are on vacation, “hitting the beach”, “relaxing/doing nothing”, and having a cultural experience were the top three activities.
“For a growing number of travelers the year 2007 will be a great one for international travel,” says Amy Ziff, Travelocity’s editor at large. “With more people obtaining passports in order to visit the Caribbean and Mexico this year, the world of travel options will open up in ways it never has before.”
Travelocity’s survey data reveals several other trends of note, including a tendency towards tradition - with 61 percent saying they have an “annual trip” that they take every year. Of those who take an annual trip, more than half report either going to the same exact place, or at least doing the same basic activity every time. But it’s not all beach hats and cocktail umbrellas for travelers this year, with one in 10 planning to commit their leisure time to volunteering while on vacation. Additional Travelocity forecast poll findings include:
The top 5 intended international destinations are:
1. Western Europe
2. The Caribbean
3. Australia / New Zealand / South Pacific
5. Eastern Europe
The top 5 intended domestic regional destinations are:
1. Pacific Region (CA, OR, WA, HI, AK)
2. Mountain Region (AZ, CO, ID, MO, NV, NM, UT, WY)
3. South Atlantic (DL, DC, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VI, WV)
4. New England (CT, MN, MA, NH, RI, VT)
5. Mid Atlantic Region (NJ, NY, PN)
Luggage and Packing Data
Based on new TSA luggage regulations implemented in 2006:
The largest group (27 percent) said their packing strategy has completely changed
- Although 13 percent still haven’t bothered to make any changes at all to the way they pack and just ship it or check it
- When asked about the pending release of RFID chips to help airlines reduce the amount of lost luggage:
- The vast majority (88 percent) were completely unfamiliar with the concept, despite the fact that 19 percent of travelers reported losing their luggage at least once in 2006
Other Data Points
The top three motivators in choosing an airline were:
- Schedule or convenience (61 percent)
- More leg room (11 percent)
- Getting frequent flier miles (9 percent)
The Travelocity poll conducted from Dec. 19, 2006 - Jan. 3, 2007 consisted of responses from 1,280 Travelocity members.