Marriott International has announced the findings of its inaugural U.S. Summer Travel Trends Report 2017 based an analysis of nearly 2 million Marriott.com searches and bookings in April and May for travel between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holiday weekends.
“This summer, travelers are looking beyond typical beach-centric destinations and considering places like Orlando, New York, Chicago and New Orleans to explore with their families and friends,” said Brian King, global officer, digital, distribution and global sales, Marriott International, in a written release. “They’re also more eager this year than last year to bring their pets, stay a little longer and seek out good value.”
Marriott, which operates more than 6,000 hotels in more than 120 countries, analyzed multiple Marriott-owned data sources including Marriott.com, in addition to surveying more than 2,000 consumers with a proprietary study on their summer travel hacks.
When it comes to kicking off the summer over Memorial Day Weekend, Marriott’s customers are split on whether to seek family fun or city escapes, Marriott said. The top five most-searched destinations for Memorial Day:
- New York
- Washington D.C.
- San Diego
Top Picks for Independence Day
When it comes to deciding where to watch the Fourth of July fireworks, some of Marriott’s customers who booked hotels in April had already made up their minds, the company said. Hotels in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans, for instance, saw their share of bookings rise 26 percent and 27 percent, respectively, compared to other summer weekends.
The top five most-searched destinations for Independence Day are:
- New Orleans
- New York
- San Diego
Marriott’s report also showed significant growth outside U.S. borders on holiday weekends compared to other summer weekends. For both Memorial Day weekend and the July 4th weekend, travelers are showing interest in going to the Caribbean and Latin America, with bookings in hotels in Aruba, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands seeing especially pronounced increases compared to other summer weekends, Marriott said.
Vacationers Plan Longer Holiday Trips
Marriott also said it sees summer holiday trips growing longer than last year. With July 4th falling on a Tuesday this year, Marriott’s bookings for five-day stays are soaring 67 percent over the 2016 holiday, when the nation’s birthday fell on a Monday.
More than a third of customers are booking three-to-five day stays for the Memorial Day and July 4th holidays, according to Marriott’s report. This represents an approximately 70 percent increase in longer-than-average stays compared to non-holiday summer weekends.
Demand for Packages Swells
Another trend revealed in Marriott’s trend report is strong, continued interest in seeking out summer package deals that include items such as breakfast, parking or Wi-Fi, according to Marriott’s Summer Travel Trend Report 2017. Consumers booked package rates about 7 percent more often for their holiday weekend vacations than their non-holiday trips.
“We’re seeing packages grow because people are opting for once-and-done vacations, where they can get on with enjoying rather than budgeting,” King said.
Consumers Want to Bring Pets on Vacation
Regardless of their destination or length of stay, Marriott’s customers appear eager to bring pets with them on vacation, the company said. Marriott observed a 70 percent increase in searches for pet-friendly hotels during this summer’s holiday weekends versus non-holiday summer weekends. The timing of this summer’s holiday weekends and greater tendency to extend stays help explain the spike in pet accommodation requests.