Robust Intentions

Leisure, Business Travel On The Rise


MMGY Global’s newly released travelhorizons survey reveals that 69% of adults surveyed plans to take at least one leisure trip during the next six months — essentially unchanged from the percentage who planned to do so during the same period in 2013. A total of 2,324 US adults were surveyed in May 2014 for the research.

The survey also found that these travellers are also expected to open their pocketbooks wider when away from home, as the survey revealed an anticipated 4% increase in spending on leisure travel services for the period of May to October 2014 (22%) compared to the same time frame in 2013 (18%).

It was also discovered that of the many financial factors that have the potential to negatively influence demand for leisure travel, all of the 14 measured in the survey declined when compared to the same period in 2013. Possible job loss and the cost of air travel emerged as the primary obstacles, although both have shown a double digit decline in impact since 2013.

With the peak summer travel season beginning, the overall Traveler Sentiment Index (TSI) continues to climb, rising eight points from February 2014 to 114, its highest level since the Index was first published prior to the onset of the Great Recession in March of 2007. The TSI, tracked every calendar quarter since that time, is a derivative of six factors that measure Americans’ attitudes toward travel and serves as a predictor of travel behaviour during the coming six months.

The rise in the May TSI resulted from an increase in all six variables from which the Index is derived: interest in travel, time for travel, personal finances available for travel, affordability of travel, quality of service, and safety of travel. As in February 2014, the largest increases were observed in the perceived “affordability of travel” (up 11 points since February 2014) and “personal finances available for travel” (up 15 points during the same period), suggesting that U.S. travellers are feeling much more confident about their overall financial condition.

The survey found that business travel intentions also continued to rise with three in 10 U.S. adults (30%) planning at least one trip for business during the next six months – up a statistically significant seven points from the same period in 2013, and the highest percentage recorded since this metric was first reported in travelhorizons in February 2009. While more travellers plan to hit the road for business, however, they are also planning to take fewer trips during the period of May to October 2014 (average of 3.7 trips) compared to 2013 (average of 4.2 trips).

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