Expedia.com, the world’s leading online travel agency, released the results of a study of American attitudes in today’s economy as they relate to domestic travel, international travel, hotel selection criteria and social media. The American Traveler survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Expedia fromFebruary 16-20, 2012 among 2,262 adults ages 18 and older.
Among other findings, it revealed that a full 41% of Americans – and nearly 1 in 2 men (49%) – have driven across the United States at one point. Just under one in four Americans (23%), and one in three students (31%) are “at least somewhat likely” to travel internationally in the next year.
Forty percent of Americans report the economic downturn over the past few years did not impact their personal/leisure travel. They “travel as usual,” particularly those between 35 and 44 years of age (46%). A percentage of young men (13%) and women (14%) aged 18 -34 are taking more trips these days, perhaps because a down economy prompts travel destinations to sweeten deals.
“This study, combined with our own data, tells us a lot about how Americans are traveling in today’s economy. Our data shows that even though Americans are taking fewer flights, they are booking more hotel nights. We believe that Americans are proving to be resilient in a down economy, by driving instead of flying and taking more frequent, shorter trips,” said Joe Megibow, vice president and general manager, Expedia.com.
“The study also showed how important friends and family were to the travel experience. Friends and family were the most important resource when choosing a hotel. Social networks are enabling new reach when seeking advice on travel, and we are thrilled to be able to help share that knowledge.”
Eighty-one percent of Americans have visited at least one of twelve major U.S. landmarks in their travels. Approximately one third of people have visited the National Mall in Washington DC, the Statue of Liberty, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Grand Canyon, while approximately one in four have visited the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Route 66, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and the Alamo.
Expedia’s American Traveler study also found that:
Social media keeps travelers connected.
For some American families, social media is connection enough.
78% of Americans rely on reviews to provide direction when selecting a hotel.
Men are more likely to have ever driven cross-country than women (49% compared to 34%).
13% report having purchased travel via a “flash sale”.