Travelocity’s annual “Traveler Confidence Report” reveals a majority of consumers, 53 percent, plan to travel more in 2012 than they did in 2011 despite a lack of confidence in the state of the economy. This is an 18 percentage point year-over-year increase from 2011. Of those respondents who planned on increasing their travel this year, about two-thirds plan to increase their travel budget in 2012, while slightly more than one-third will travel more without allocating more dollars to travel, indicating they plan to stretch their dollars further.
“The travel industry should be encouraged by our findings and take this as a vote of confidence,” said Carl Sparks, President and CEO, Travelocity Global. “While increases in spending are being driven by higher prices, travelers are taking more vacations and trips that are longer and farther away this year compared to last.”
How Respondents Plan to Spend and Save in 2012:
In 2012, there is a six percentage point increase in people (compared to last year) who plan to increase their travel budget. Only slightly more than half actually have a predetermined travel budget this year.
In order to save money, nearly 50 percent of respondents will increase their comparison shopping, date flexibility and begin booking further in advance. About 70 percent of respondents intend to book vacation packages (flight + hotel) or book hotels via flash sales, while 40 percent are likely to consider booking an opaque hotel such as Top Secret Hotels.
This year, 76 percent of respondents plan to spend the same or increase their hotel spending to account for hotel rate increases, taking more trips and longer hotel stays. What respondents won’t be spending money on are hotel services or amenities – they are highly unlikely to pay for offerings such as maid service, newspapers or personal check-in.
One hotel trend lives on – the staycation. Similar to last year a little more than one-third of respondents said they were likely to book a hotel near home for a short getaway in the next six months.
A total of 79 percent of respondents anticipate spending the same or more on flights in 2012. Those who plan to increase flight spending from last year (47 percent) will do so to accommodate rising airfare or because they plan on traveling differently such as taking more trips or trips farther away. When it comes to airline ancillary fees, the only service that a significant number of respondents (52 percent) are likely to pay for is one checked bag. Similar to last year’s survey, the overwhelming majority are unlikely to pay for anything else such as advanced seating assignment, extra legroom, a second bag and / or early boarding.