Vacationer Decision-Making Insights that Hotels & Resorts Should Know

Feb 06, 2019

TripAdvisor recently released the results of their annual study, TripBarometer, which reveals the factors that are most important for vacation travelers when selecting a destination and where they will stay. The study analyzes more than 23,000 responses from TripAdvisor travelers around the world. Survey participants were asked about their most recent trips, their process in choosing a travel destination, budget and activities while on vacation.

The study shows a difference in spending habits between baby boomers and millennials, who tend to be more budget conscious when planning trips. The average budget for millennials is nearly half the amount that baby boomers are willing to spend. More than 25% of millennials compare options prior to booking, particularly budget-conscious millennials. They are also more likely to be enticed by a good deal, with 16% attracted to a bargain. However, they are just as willing to pay a bit more for luxury.

Baby boomers are less likely to book in advance compared to younger travelers, who pre-book their activities prior to departure. However, across all travelers, the majority (57%) doesn't take advantage of pre-booked activities or excursions, usually translating to  longer wait times for things like tickets and entry while on vacation.

When choosing where to stay, the bulk of respondents are still somewhat traditional, with 53% opting to stay at a hotel during their most recent vacation travel, 10% preferred resorts, 8% chose vacation rentals, and 7% booked through home-sharing sites. When it comes to selecting their hotel, 39% reported their preference to stay at recognizable resort brands. Not surprisingly, the surveyed travelers identified location (24%) and price (15%) as the most important factors when choosing their accommodations.

From an international perspective, the study found that Canadian travelers opt for destinations with warm weather, with 30% identifying this as a main driver. British respondents also preferred warm weather, with 24% citing this as the most important factor. Respondents in Asia, particularly those from China, are nearly 3x more likely than European travelers to choose a known hotel or resort brand.

The findings from TripBarometer provide important insights about vacationers’ decision-making processes. Armed with this knowledge and combined with proactive marketing, such as personalized promotions, hotel and resort operators can secure more travelers at their properties. And when integrated with a property management system (PMS), operators have the means to offer each traveler customized amenities and services that cater to the individual’s preferences, often resulting in additional revenue.

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