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US Market Profile

California remains the No. 1 travel destination in the country. The Golden State’s abundance and distinct laid-back culture are appealing to both in-state and out-of-state travelers, with more than three-fourths of total visitors to California hailing from domestic points of origin. While current political realities have had different effects on audiences in different states, California remains a haven for innovation and a beacon for the country, fueling strong domestic travel growth year over year.


MAJOR TAKEAWAYS

  • The sharing economy provides freedom of choice and value. The majority of travel is booked online, however, due to the vast localized recommendations and peer-to-peer information available, the travel agent has been redefined.
  • Global Brand, Millennials and Generation Xers prefer unique and off-the-beaten-track vacations. There is also strong interest in visiting a new destination every time.
  • Millennials are willing to splurge on key cultural experiences to satisfy their aspirational self, and they see airfare as a way to stay within budget.
 
  • Millennial travelers are mixing work and play (“bleisure”), splurging to get custom experiences and becoming creators of content.
  • The Global Brand audience has increased digital media consumption, especially in mobile and social; TV is only down slightly, at an average of 14 hours per week.
  • Mobile is a central hub for the Global Brand target, as a center of information and entertainment, however there is also a desire to disconnect, with two-thirds reporting that they often switch off their mobile phone to escape.
  • Millennials document their travel experience across multiple social media platforms, and they are moving from curating content to becoming creators of their own story. Platforms like Instagram Stories and Snapchat allow them to share every moment of their travels with a like-minded community.
 

U.S. Profile

211.7 Million
In-Person Trips, 2017 (Total)
$75.42 Billion
Visitor Spending, 2017 (Total)

Market Conditions

GDP Annual Growth Rate

GDP Annual Growth Rate in the United States is expected to be 2.5 percent by the fourth quarter of 2017. Looking forward, it is estimated that GDP Annual Growth Rate will stand at 2.5 percent in 12 months’ time. In the long-term, the United States GDP Annual Growth Rate is projected to trend around 2.6 percent in 2020.

Consumer Sentiment

Consumer sentiment fell to 96.8 in December of 2017 from 98.5 in November, the lowest reading in three months and well below market expectations.

Insights

Primary Western Markets

  • Top DMAs: Phoenix (27.9%); Las Vegas (19.1%); Seattle (13%); Salt Lake City (7.5%); Denver (5.9%); Reno (5.3%)
  • 68.7% Drive; 26.6% Air; 4.7% Other
  • 32% With children under 18
  • $502 Per trip
  • 40.4% Trip decision less than 1 month before travel
  • Top online planning sources: Search engine (21%); Travel provider (18%); OTA (15%); Destination website (11%); Facebook (10%); Travel review sites (6%)

Top Long-Haul Markets

  • Top DMAs: New York (14.8%); Chicago (7%); Miami/Ft. Lauderdale (6.8%); Dallas-Ft. Worth (4.9%); Philadelphia (4.1%); Houston (3.8%); Atlanta (3%); Washington DC (2.8%)
  • 39% Drive; 57.3% Air; 3.7% Other
  • 28.1% With children under 18
  • $948 Per trip
  • 29% Trip decision less than 1 month before travel
  • Top online planning sources: Travel provider website (26%); Search engine (25%); OTA (20%); Destination website (13%); Travel review sites (13%); Facebook (12%)

Market Barriers & Risk Factors

 

Top 2016 Media Spenders


Other Market Insights

MARKET

  • The sharing economy provides freedom of choice and value. The majority of travel is booked online, however, due to the vast localized recommendations and peer-to-peer information available, the travel agent has been redefined.
    • 80 percent of respondents (Carat CCS) cited advisors’ knowledge of destinations and suppliers as a key benefit, 78 percent cited advisors’ ability to make travel more hassle-free, and 75 percent cited advisors’ ability to help if something goes wrong.
    • “Advisors” as personified by the sharing economy include: Airbnb, Vayable, TripAdvisor and Spotted by Locals.

PRODUCT EXPERIENCE

  • Global Brand, Millennials and Generation Xers prefer unique and off-the-beaten-track vacations. There is also strong interest in visiting a new destination every time.
  • Millennials are willing to splurge on key cultural experiences to satisfy their aspirational self, and they see airfare as a way to stay within budget.

AUDIENCE

  • Millennial travelers are mixing work and play (“bleisure”), splurging to get custom experiences and becoming creators of content.
    • 60 percent of Millennials have taken bleisure trips, usually adding two days to work-related travel.
    • It is forecasted that 50 percent of business travel will be undertaken by Millennials in 2020.
  • The Global Brand audience has increased digital media consumption, especially in mobile and social; TV is only down slightly, at an average of 14 hours per week.
    • Millennials drive up the digital media consumption for the Global Brand target, with Generation X tending to be more traditional.
    • Millennials consume TV when and where they want to watch.

COMMUNICATION

  • Mobile is a central hub for the Global Brand target, as a center of information and entertainment, however there is also a desire to disconnect, with two-thirds reporting that they often switch off their mobile phone to escape.
  • Millennials document their travel experience across multiple social media platforms, and they are moving from curating content to becoming creators of their own story. Platforms like Instagram Stories and Snapchat allow them to share every moment of their travels with a like-minded community.

 


Sources

  • Tradingeconomics.com
  • U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
  • Kantar
  • University of Michigan
  • Tourism Economics
  • DKSA
  • TNS Global (domestic)
  • CIC Research
  • OTTI (international)
  • Dean Runyan
  • CIC Research (expenditures)
  • TNS TravelsAmerica, 2016
  • Carat CCS
  • SMARI
  • Boston Consulting Group
  • xe.com