TravelBoom | July 26, 2023
Study reveals customers are making up for lost time.
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C., July 26, 2023 — TravelBoom, the leading data-driven digital marketing agency for hotels, resorts, and vacation rental companies, released its annual Leisure Travel Trends Study after recently surveying approximately 2,000 travelers in 2023. The findings uncover the influence of an ever-changing economy on travel choices, increases in online bookings, an increased frequency of vacations, and the most sought-after amenities when booking.
The study explores the step-by-step process travelers undergo when navigating a selection of locations, planning, and booking a vacation. It encompasses the influence of social media on bookings and the changing expectations regarding the non-negotiables for holidays. TravelBoom’s 2023 Leisure Travel Trends Study offers valuable insights, such as:
• Leisure travelers are changing their habits in light of the overall economy. Results show a staggering 3 out of 4 travelers making changes to their vacation planning due to inflation.
• Travel is returning to pre-COVID numbers. COVID-19 is largely behind today’s travelers and has no impact or only a minor influence on travel decisions.
• Reviews can easily disqualify a property, but reviews alone can’t entice a visitor to stay. This year, reviews came in last when looking at the most influential booking factors, with location and price coming in first.
• A surprising leap is ahead for loyalty programs. Compared to 45% in 2022, 68% of travelers indicated loyalty programs influenced them in 2023.
• Hotels could be considering whether to give up on social media marketing. Social media is shown to have very little ability to inspire the initial travel decision. However, we have uncovered several social media strategies that can be successful and drive revenue for hoteliers.
“The data is clear; Covid is a concern of the past for today’s leisure travelers. However, a new “c” word has taken its place, “cost,” said Pete DiMaio, COO of TravelBoom. “The data shows significant leisure travel planning changes due to rising costs and economic uncertainty. The positive news is that travelers are still looking to get away, though it will differ from past years. This study has revealed insights into exactly what today’s independent hotelier should do to capitalize and maximize occupancy in a very uncertain time.”
For full study click below
Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released May 2023 traffic data showing continued strong growth in air travel demand.
Total traffic in May 2023 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose 39.1% compared to May 2022. Globally, traffic is now at 96.1% of May 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels.
Domestic traffic for May rose 36.4% compared to the year-ago period. Total May 2023 domestic traffic was 5.3% above the May 2019 level. This is the second month in a row domestic traffic has exceeded pre-pandemic levels.
International traffic climbed 40.9% versus May 2022 with all markets recording strong growth, led once again by carriers in the Asia-Pacific region. International RPKs reached 90.8% of May 2019 levels, with Middle East and North American airlines exceeding pre-pandemic levels.
The total industry load factor rose to 81.8%, led by North American carriers at 86.3%.
“We saw more good news in May. Planes were full, with the average load factors reaching 81.8%. Domestic markets reported growth on pre-pandemic levels. And, heading into the busy Northern summer travel season, international demand reached 90.8% of pre-pandemic levels,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
Air Passenger Market in Detail
International Passenger Markets
Asia-Pacific airlines had a 156.7% increase in May 2023 traffic compared to May 2022, maintaining the very positive momentum since the lifting of the remaining travel restrictions in the region earlier this year. Capacity rose 136.1% and the load factor increased 6.4 percentage points to 80.0%.
European carriers posted a 19.8% traffic rise versus May 2022. Capacity climbed 14.2%, and the load factor rose 3.9 percentage points to 84.4%.
Middle Eastern airlines saw a 30.8% traffic increase compared to May a year ago. Capacity climbed 25.0% and the load factor pushed up 3.6 percentage points to 80.2%. The region is leading the recovery with May traffic at 17.2% above 2019 levels.
North American carriers’ traffic climbed 31.0% in May 2023 versus the 2022 period. Capacity increased 23.2%, and the load factor rose 5.1 percentage points to 85.1%, highest among the regions.
Latin American airlines had a 26.3% traffic increase compared to the same month in 2022. May capacity climbed faster-- up 27.3% -- and the load factor slipped 0.7 percentage points to 83.8%. The region was the only one to see capacity growth exceed traffic growth for the month.
African airlines’ traffic rose 45.2% in May 2023 versus a year ago. May capacity was up 44.2% and the load factor edged up 0.5 percentage points to 68.8%, the lowest among the regions.
Domestic Passenger Markets
Brazil’s domestic traffic grew 8.6% in May compared to a year ago, and is the latest domestic market to recover fully with traffic at 6.5% above pre-pandemic (May 2019) levels.
Japan’s domestic traffic surged 39.0% in May compared to a year ago, the strongest result after China and at 99.8% of pre-pandemic levels.
Air Passenger Market Overview - May 2023
The Bottom Line
“People need and love to fly. The strong demand for travel is one element supporting a return to profitability by airlines. In 2023 we expect airlines globally to post a $9.8 billion net profit. It’s an impressive number, particularly after huge pandemic losses. But a 1.2% average net profit margin is just $2.25 per departing passenger. As a return, that is not sustainable in the long-term.
Moreover, it appears that, while the pandemic has changed many things in aviation, it has not righted aviation’s famously unbalanced value chain. The latest indication came last week as European airports announced a EUR 6.4 billion ($7 billion) collective profit in 2022. In comparison, IATA estimates that European airlines made a $4.1 billion profit for the same year. We don’t begrudge any business hard-earned profits. But this does raise an interesting question. Is airport economic regulation effectively defending the public interest when a monopoly supplier (airports) can generate seemingly much healthier returns than the competitive businesses (airlines) they supply? Governments should at least take a look”, said Walsh.
> View the May Air Passenger Market Analysis (pdf)
Sunny Forecast for Summer Travel: Nearly Half of All Americans Are Planning to Vacation This Season.
MMGY Travel Intelligence | July 06, 2023
Short-term trips, cannabis tourism and other trends stand out in latest MMGY Global Survey
Building upon the significant gains from 2022, new research by MMGY Travel Intelligence indicates that the American tourism industry will experience another blockbuster summer in 2023. According to the latest edition of the research firm’s Portrait of American Travelers® study, more than three-quarters of U.S. adults plan to take a vacation in the next 12 months, with nearly half of all adults (48%) planning to travel this summer specifically.
“Though certain segments continue to lag, including the meetings/conventions and corporate transient travel categories, American interest in travel as a whole remains very, very high,” said Chris Davidson, Executive Vice President of MMGY Travel Intelligence.
The survey, which examines the behaviors and preferences of more than 4,500 U.S. adults on a quarterly basis, also found that most Americans now regard travel as a direct reflection of their self-identity. More than half of all survey respondents (51%) agreed with the notion that the places they visit say a lot about who they are.
“This notion of self-expression through travel – or ‘identity travel’ – indicates that Americans, now more than ever, seem to be seeking out destinations and activities that best align with their unique ideals and values,” said Davidson. “As American travelers become more discerning with their dollar, marketers should take greater note of this changing mindset, working to clearly articulate and deliver on their brand values to attract those who see life through a similar lens.”
Other key observations from the Portrait of American Travelers® “Summer Edition” follow.
About the 2023 Portrait of American Travelers®
MMGY Global’s Portrait of American Travelers® study provides an in-depth examination of the impact of the current economic environment, prevailing social values, and emerging travel habits, preferences and intentions of Americans. Now in its 33rd year, it is widely regarded as a leading barometer of travel trends and an essential tool for both the development and evolution of brand and marketing strategy. The travel trend information presented in this “Summer Edition” report was obtained from interviews with 4,501 U.S. adults in April and May 2023 featuring data from four generations: Gen Zers (18–25), Millennials (26–41), Gen Xers (42–57) and Boomers (58–76). The Silent/GI generation (77+) was also surveyed, but results are not broken out for this specific generation due to a small respondent sample size. This is the second of four quarterly reports to be released this year.
Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.