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.”
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Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.