NEW YORK, Oct. 3, 2023 — 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR Firms in the U.S., reveals that 51% of American consumers tend to splurge and buy the best they can afford when thinking about making travel and experience purchases, compared to 38% of consumers who listed the category as a splurge in the agency’s 2022 survey.
“Since Q4 2022, consumers have reported a 13% increase in their interest to splurge rather than save on travel and experiences, indicating their appetite for travel has increased over the course of 2023, and going into 2024,” said 5WPR Co-CEO, Dara A. Busch. “With travel heavily influenced by external factors, including rising costs for transportation and airfare, consumers’ willingness to splurge isn’t enough to ensure a booming year of business, however. Companies in this space need to meet consumer interest with a strategic communications and digital program to target consumers in the right place at the right time.”
Word-of-mouth is the top channel consumers report relying on to discover travel destinations (46%), as well as the top channel to further research their desired trip (40%). Social media is also a favored tool for discovery, with consumers citing YouTube (41%), Instagram (31%), and TikTok (29%) in that order as channels they rely on. When it comes to research, YouTube (37%) is still favored of the three social media platforms, however it is followed by Tourism Board Websites (28%) and Travel Publications (26%), before shifting back to the remaining two social platforms: TikTok (26%) and Instagram (25%).
“Consumers are tapping into more than one channel to discover their next travel destination and curate one-of-a-kind experiences,” shared Busch. “Their multichannel approach to planning means it’s crucial for destinations and experiences to engage on all platforms, from traditional media like websites and print publications to social media and short-form video apps. When the competition for consumer attention is so close between all channels, with users barely favoring one platform over another, a well-rounded communications approach is vital for brand impact.”
When it comes to timing, six months to one year in advance is the sweet spot, with 35% of consumers – the majority of those surveyed – identifying this as the timeframe they begin researching a destination. 54% of consumers spend more than four hours, up to eight, researching a destination before their trip.
“This is an invaluable insight that is useful for brands planning 2024 campaigns and can also provide clarity for brands reviewing their successes, or shortcomings, from the first three quarters,” said Busch.
Additionally, 78% of respondents shared inflation has impacted the way they choose travel destinations, and 43% of those shared their choices have been impacted significantly.
“Even with reports of consumers prioritizing spending on vacations, there are still challenges faced by destinations and experiences,” continued Busch. “Inflation continues to impact spending, and travelers will ultimately end up booking the experience they know will be worth it. This might be the best financial deal, or staying at a good-reputation hotel that offers high-quality experiences.”
Complete insights from the survey are now available on the 5WPR website.
The research was conducted by Censuswide with 1,003 respondents aged 18+ across the USA between 9.19.23 and 9.22.23. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council.