“Emotions, not dollars, are what drive decisions for most travelers today,” said Global Senior Director Wendy Olson Killion. “The study revealed that for travelers from three of the largest global markets – China, the U.S. and U.K. – activities and experiences are leading priorities, ahead of deals and lowest price. The data also showed that travelers are receptive to ads with appealing imagery and informative content, illustrating a real opportunity for marketers to align their content with traveler interests to spur consideration.”
A survey conducted by Northstar Research Partners, illustrate broad travel trends and distinct shopping habits, influences and motivations of American, British and Chinese travelers across four generations, including Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers.
Trip Types & Travel Logistics
Across all generations, British and Chinese travelers opt for relaxing and sightseeing vacations. In the U.S., Millennials and Gen X are most likely to take relaxing trips, while the youngest and oldest generations are taking trips to visit family.
Nearly 60 percent or more of all travelers get to their destination by plane. Road trips are the secondary transportation option in the U.S. and U.K., and train travel is also popular in China and the U.K.
Chinese Gen Z and Millennials prioritize feeling pampered during their vacation, while trip activities top the list for Gen X and Baby Boomers.
American and British travelers – particularly Baby Boomers and Gen X – place more importance on deals and special offers than Chinese travelers, who are more likely to prioritize the social elements of travel, such as the food experience and going somewhere they can vacation with friends.
More than 80 percent of Chinese travelers and at least 65 percent of American and British travelers said budget was a primary factor when planning a trip.
Chinese travelers allocated more of their budget to shopping (16 percent) and attractions or tours (15 percent) than travelers from other countries.
Destination Decisions & Booking Resources
Baby Boomers are the most decisive – nearly 55 percent from the U.S. and China have already decided on a destination.
Online travel agencies (OTAs) and search engines are leading planning resources for all travelers, and as the leading booking resource, OTAs convert the most travelers.
Approximately half of all travelers, and more than 70 percent of Chinese Millennials, said ads with appealing imagery can be influential.
Ads with informative content are most likely to influence younger Chinese travelers and older American and British travelers.