9 Factors That Are Increasing Travel Spending

The travel business is booming, as it has been for many years. According to Statista, by 2022, U.S. domestic travel spending will be about one trillion dollars – having doubled over the course of just two decades. Here are nine factors that are driving consumers to spend more of their money on travel:

1. Boomers on the move

Vicki Gelfeld at AARP Travel predicts that  Baby Boomers will take four to five leisure trips this year. About half will only travel in the U.S. and about half will travel both domestically and abroad. Last year, Boomers spent an average of over $6,600 on travel, Gelfeld reports.

2. Millennial momentum

“Millennials will account for almost half of all travel spending by 2020,” reports Emma Symington at Amadeus.  “While embracing new technology is crucial in catering for digitally-savvy millennials, a deeper understanding of what drives this often-misunderstood generation is critical to remaining relevant in this disruptive environment,” she writes.

3. Woman power

“Tourism experts agree that women are promoting substantial growth in the industry by making 80% of the travel decisions,” write Christa Ouderkirk Franzi and Dina DeCarlo at Camoin Associates. “Based on statistics by the Travel Industry Association of America, the average adventure traveler is not a young male in his mid- tolate twenties, but a 47-year old woman.”

4. Great last-minute deals via mobile

“72% of all mobile bookings made by U.S. travelers happened within a 48-hour window prior to the booking,” reports Stephanie Kutschera at TrekkSoft, citing a study by Sojern Global Travel Insights. “Travelers want more flexibility, which mobile devices have delivered, leading to a greater propensity to book last-minute.”

5. The “Instagram Effect”

“Whether it’s using the app to research the best places to go before we travel, or choosing a particular spot because we want to recreate a picture perfect post, ‘Insta-tourism’ is having an impact,” writes Aaron Brooks at Social Media Today, citing research finding that 67% of travel enthusiasts use Instagram to find travel inspiration.

6. Better personalization

“A recent study from Epsilon found that 87 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with travel brands offering personalized experiences,” says Kurt Weinsheimer, Chief Solutions Officer of Sojern, in a Skift interview. “Major brands who invest in the right tools and partners can now combine demographic data with psychographic data, along with their CRM and loyalty data, as well as look at real-time trip intent indicators like search and booking data — all to power tailored marketing programs that systematically deliver timely offers and great customer experiences.”

7. The growth of wellness travel

“The $639 billion wellness travel market’s annual growth rate of 6.5 percent from 2015-2017 is more than double the 3.2 percent growth rate for tourism overall,” writes Jessica Montevago at Travel Market Report. “In 2017, travelers took 830 million wellness trips, which is 139 million more than in 2015. As one of the fastest-growing travel segments, wellness travel currently represents 17 percent of total tourism expenditures.”

8. The appeal of alternative accommodations  

Affluent travelers “are increasingly embracing alternative accommodation options such as Airbnb and HomeAway: 50 percent have stayed at a short-term vacation rental at least once, compared to 36 percent the previous year,” reports Travel Agent Central.

9. The lure of “micro-experiences”

“Over half of global travelers report they plan to take more weekend trips,” according to Booking.com. “It’s a year that’s predicted to be all about made-to-measure, bite-sized travel with more curated travel itineraries squeezed into shorter time frames. Less is most definitely more as travelers are offered a more bespoke experience.”