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WEX and Mastercard Release Annual Travel Trends and Expectations Report
Among the key findings,travel abroad is anticipated to increase
in 2019. In particular, more travelers say they will travel to
- AI as the new travel agents: The data showed a slight increase
in awareness of travel bots—which allow travel booking by voice—from
2017 to 2018, with 21 percent of surveyed Americans saying they would
be comfortable booking a trip by voice (e.g., with Alexa or
- Travel with a purpose: From yoga retreats to international hiking trips, cycling adventures, volunteering or “foodie” tours, all signs point to travelers being more adventurous in 2019—and younger travelers seem to be driving this shift. They’re also more likely than Gen X and particularly Boomers to combine leisure travel with a purpose, such as volunteering, and to travel to take a class or learn a new skill.
- Age is more than just a number: In terms of how people book, older travelers still prefer to book directly with an airline or hotel while online travel agencies are more popular with Millennials. Age even has bearing on how travelers pay for their getaways. Older travelers are more likely to use their credit cards to pay for travel expenses, while younger travelers are more likely to use debit cards.
- Sharing economy shaking up traditional models: The two cohorts
that are most open to sharing economy services like
Airbnband Uberare Gen Z (62 percent) and Millennials (56 percent). For Millennials in particular (53 percent), the majority sentiment is that sharing economy services allow them to afford travel. Many respondents also reported that they use these services because they make them feel like a local.
- Hotels still rule in accommodations: The desire for pampered, comfortable accommodations outweighs the thirst for accommodations that offer an authentic, live-like-a-local experience. Across age cohorts, hotels remain the most popular accommodation type. Three quarters of those who prefer to stay in hotels do so because they like feeling that everything is taken care of for them. The majority of travelers also say they prefer staying in a hotel because it makes them feel like a tourist.
- Personalization inspires younger consumers to pull the trigger: As expected, younger users are more engaged with new travel technologies and report being more open to receiving personalized suggestions digitally. Almost one-quarter of all respondents (24 percent) would allow a computer to plan a trip based on data from their previous travel history; however, Gen Z and Millennials are almost three times as willing to consider this than Boomers.
“Technology is the thread connecting many of our travel findings and
predictions for 2019,” said
“Now that we’re in our second year of working with WEX to develop this
report, we’ve been able to compare and track changes from the previous
year, giving us great insight into exactly where the shifts in
Americans’ travel habits and expectations are occurring,” said
Download the full report here.
The 25-minute self-administered web-based interviews were conducted from
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