Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive


U.S. Traveler Sentiment Rises Above Pre-Recession High

New Survey Points to Positive Outlook for Travel Industry Heading
into the Busy Summer Season

Kansas City, Mo. (March 8, 2013) –Americans’ attitudes towards travel are now more positive than the benchmark score recorded just prior to the Great Recession according to the latest travelhorizons™ survey of 2,300 active travelers conducted by marketing services firm MMGY Global. This milestone augurs well for the continued growth of the travel industry during the forthcoming summer travel season.

The Traveler Sentiment Index™ (TSI), tracked every calendar quarter since March 2007, is a derivative of six factors that measure Americans’ attitudes towards travel and serves as a predictor of travel behavior during the coming six months. While the overall TSI has been declining since last April, February marked the first time the TSI surpassed the benchmark score of 100 established in pre-recession March 2007.

All six components of the TSI revealed gains in February 2013, with the overall index increasing 10 points in February 2013 (100.8) compared to October 2012 (90.4). The perceived “affordability of travel” powered the score forward, having grown from 102.6 in October 2012 to 114.5 in February 2013. The six TSI factors include interest in travel, time for travel, personal finances available for travel, affordability of travel, quality of travel services and safety of travel.

An estimated 57 percent of all U.S. adults, or 136 million people, plan to take at least one leisure trip during the next six months. The February report revealed a significant improvement in their sentiment across the board, including:
  • FINANCES NOT A FACTOR: Among the 27 financial factors that influence demand for leisure travel services, 25 either declined or remained unchanged from February 2012. Of note, half (51 percent) of all respondents cited high gasoline prices as the top financial factor influencing their future travel plans, an eight-point decline from the level recorded in February 2012 (59 percent). Several other important financial factors also declined including the price of air travel, the meltdown of U.S. economy, high level of personal debt, declining value of the dollar, and the expectation of job loss or making less money.
  • SATISFACTION SOARING: The travelhorizons™ survey also tracks changes in customer satisfaction with the services provided by four category suppliers:  airlines, lodging companies, rental car companies and cruise lines. Satisfaction with rental car companies (116.1), airlines (95.5) and lodging companies (110.1) all reached record highs according to the February survey, with the rental car industry enjoying the highest satisfaction score ever measured since these questions were added to the survey in April 2011.
  • BOOST IN BUSINESS TRAVEL: Business travel intentions also displayed a five-point jump in February, with fully 20 percent of all respondents intending to take at least one overnight business trip during the next six months – up from 15 percent in February 2012, and fully seven points from the 13 percent incidence first recorded in February 2009. This increase may signal the beginning of a robust recovery of demand for business travel services, barring any unforeseen disruption of the continued recovery of the U.S. economy.
For more information about these insights or to order the full travelhorizons™ report, visit

travelhorizons™ is a quarterly survey of Americans’ travel intentions viewed through the lens of emerging economic, social and political developments. This iteration of the nationally representative survey of 2,243 pre-qualified adults was conducted from February 5 – 11, 2013. Statistical estimates are subject to an error interval of +/- 3 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence.

MMGY Global is a $150 million integrated global marketing firm with more than 35 years of experience in the travel, hospitality and entertainment industries. For more information, visit


Senior Account Executive
MMGY Global
  727 420 8395 mobile
407 838 1829 direct
407 875 1111 main
407 875 1115 fax

Receive Your Hospitality Industry Headlines via Email for Free! Subscribe Here  

To Learn More About Your News Being Published on Hotel-Online Inquire Here

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch

Home | Welcome | Hospitality News
| Industry Resources

Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.