The State of the American Traveler - January 2014

Head of Research and Insights
Published 2/26/14
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Destination Analysts has just published the latest edition of their leading study of US leisure travelers, The State of the American Traveler. Published every six months, The State of the American Traveler reviews the travel intentions, interests, visitor behavior and media usage of of American travelers. Miles has been the primary sponsor of the research since its inception in 2007. The January 2014 edition includes a closer look at how travelers use content to make destination decisions, exploring the most important content topics and how DMOs are perceived as a source of content.

Just a few of the takeaways from the January report:

Travel Intentions Stronger but Uneven

Travel intentions for the coming year are affirming - with 32% of Americans indicating they intend to travel more in the coming year. However, the recovery remains stilted and uneven with many still citing financial or other reasons for not traveling more in 2014. Affluent Americans, however, are significantly more bullish and represent a bigger part of the travel market.

Masses of Media

Media use in travel planning remains highly complex and multi channeled, with mobile continuing its rise as a source of travel information (both before and after travel) and a similar percentage of travelers (45%) still using print as a source of information. This intersection of mobile and print use is likely to be an important staging post in the use of print in travel planning. For example, to complement digital channels (eg: QR codes to drive users to mobile content) and moving even more to the dreaming and inspiration stage of travel planning.

Content is King

Investment in deep, rich, relevant information about a destination is highlighted as central to the decision of travelers to visit a destination. The State of the American Traveler's custom report on content includes the top content topics that influence this decision and how DMOs are perceived as sources of travel content. Content on activities and things to do vie with practical cost considerations such as hotel prices and the cost of getting to the destination as the most influential content types. This shows powerful, inspirational imagery and editorial needs to be complemented with practical planning tools such as hotel and airline pricing and availability (even though most travelers will book elsewhere).

Click here to download a eight-page summary of the January 2014 The State of the American Traveler research report. Click here to access a recording of our February 27, 2014, webinar on Understanding the State of the American Traveler with Destination Analysts.