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Consumers Value Holiday Travel, TIA SaysNovember 12, 2008 By: George Dooley
Despite current economic challenges, 60 percent of people who will travel during the holidays strongly feel the time and money spent is a small price to pay to be with people they love, a new survey by the Travel Industry Association (TIA) said. The survey quantified why people take trips during the holidays.
Respondents to the Harris Interactive survey of 2,256 adults conducted last week credited four reasons as significant and valuable for hitting the road to visit family or friends at Thanksgiving and Christmas. They are: creating memories; maintaining traditions; reconnecting and building relationships; and improving a person’s sense of overall well-being.
“All indicators point to the fact that people feel the enriching experiences that holiday travel affords and the opportunity to share time with loved ones is of great value to their life,” said Dr. Suzanne Cook, senior vice president of research for TIA. “Most people appear to be unwilling to give up what and who they love, even in more stressful times.”
Older Americans, in particular, appreciate the value of travel during the holidays. Among those who plan on being with out-of-town family/friends over the holiday season, 79 percent of persons 55-years-old and older believe that “being with family and friends over the holidays creates memories for me and/or my children” (61 percent among ages 18-34 and 58 percent among ages 35-44). The TIA also said that 69 percent of persons 55-years-old and older also feel that the holidays are a time to reconnect with the family and build relationships (58 percent for ages 18-34 and 53 percent for ages 35-44). Also, persons age 55-plus overwhelmingly feel (76 percent) that “time and money involved to travel is small price to pay for the benefits of being with loved ones” (52 percent for both 18-34 and 35-44).
Among those who plan to be with out-of-town family/friends over the holiday season, women value the benefits of holiday travel more than men. Some 77 percent of women believe that “being with family/friends over the holidays creates memories,” compared with 58 percent for men.
The survey also revealed how much parents with young children appreciate others coming to see them. Among parents with children under the age of six, 64 percent believe that “the time and money my family/friends spend to travel to visit is a part of their gift to me.”
One indication of how positively people see holiday travel can be seen in the fact that only 37 percent of those who visit with out-of-town family or friends feel in any way obligated to be with family and friends at Thanksgiving, but 70 percent recognize it as an opportunity to maintain tradition.