Travel Demand Remains High, Despite Recession Fears

A new report, based on travel data sets from insights company GWI, shows the travel sector is continuing to see a strong post-pandemic rebound. It reveals that 57 percent of U.S. consumers are planning an overseas vacation within the next 12 months and 86 percent also eyeing a domestic trip.

It seems, however, that they’re still somewhat trepidatious as a result of the pandemic experience, since 38 percent report that the ability to cancel or rebook without penalty is the most important factor for them when arranging their next trip, trailed by 36 percent of respondents who said they’ll be paying closer attention to hygiene standards.

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“The data really demonstrates that, while we’re keen to get back to regular travel, consumers are still tentative,” remarked GWI’s Chief Research Officer, Jason Mander added, Brands should take note, offer flexibility and, above all, demonstrate the overall value and experience they’re offering.”

Today’s record-high economic inflation levels leading to a “cost of living crisis” and resulting concerns about an oncoming recession are also impacting consumer sentiment. As the cost of travel goes up, along with everything else, 36 percent of Americans are being price-conscious when it comes to their travel spending, according to July 2022 GWI Zeitgeist data.

“While many people have jumped back into traveling after the disruption of the past couple of years, the ways in which we now live and work post-pandemic are heavily impacting travelers’ expectations,” said GWI’s CEO and Founder, Tom Smith. “That’s exactly why we have created a travel-specific data set—to help our customers stay on top of these ongoing changes, and really understand what people want and need.”

Viewed altogether, U.S. travelers reported that their top priorities when planning a vacation right now are visiting family, relatives and friends (53 percent), or going on a beach or coastal getaway. However, when the data is broken down generationally, it’s evident that people in each age group have different preferences on how they want to travel.

A generational breakdown of U.S. consumer data also reveals some key differences among the things that each age group is presently prioritizing when planning their vacations:

Baby Boomers

69% – Cost/Value for money

67% – Good Weather/Climate

64% – Sights/Attractions to visit

Gen X

65% – Cost/Value for money

63% – Sights/Attractions to visit

59% – Relaxation

Millennials

58% – Fun/Excitement

56% – Relaxation

55% – Sights/Attractions

Gen Z

70% – Fun/Excitement

56% – Cost/Value for money

56% – Good weather/Climate


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