June 20, 2013

Meet the new American traveler


MMGY Global’s 2013 Portrait of American Travelers study takes an in-depth look at the current travel climate, habits, preferences and intentions of affluent American travelers. Sixty percent of travelers use TripAdvisor when choosing a hotel, but YouTube is the second-most popular resource.

Millennials, otherwise known as Generation Y, are the new up-and-coming niche market, Yesawich said. Many of them are eager to try new experiences and, unlike the previous generation, do not want to do the same thing twice. Millennials are increasingly turning to travel professionals for advice rather than OTAs. They have better things to do and they want value, so they will pay for the service.

Meanwhile, the “Traditionalists” - those aged 68 and above - take the longest trips as, being retired, they have the most time. They also spend more on all aspects of travel. Both markets can be valuable for all kinds of travel, but it is vital to know how to approach each one.

A full two-thirds of travelers now have some kind of smartphone, and 31 percent own a smartphone as well as some sort of tablet. Social media is also a growing force in promoting travel, whether it’s a hotel’s channel on YouTube or a traveler’s personal photo album on Facebook. (Nearly half of the survey respondents who use social media are millennials).

Sixty percent of travelers use TripAdvisor when choosing a destination or hotel, but YouTube is the second-most popular resource, and MMGY Global’s Peter Yesawich predicts that it could soon reach parity with the popular travel site. “The culture of users hasn’t migrated,” Yesawich said of the social media platforms. “They still have value to add to the commentary.”

Get the full story at International Meetings Review, and MMGY Global (PDF 676 KB)