Ninety-one percent of North American consumers plan to travel the same or more this year over last year, according to Travel Leaders Group’s 2019 Travel Industry Outlook. The organization released the results of the survey, which polled more than 3,500 consumers, at a panel and presentation at the company’s new Broadway location.
Here are some key findings from the survey:
- 30 million consumers are expected to cruise in 2019, up 6 percent from 2018, while 25 new ocean-going ships are schedule to enter service this year, including 12 expedition ships, catering to a growing trend in expedition cruising, according to the Cruise Lines International Association and Seatrade.
- CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research projects a 10th consecutive year of growth for U.S. hotels and a fifth straight year of record occupancy while significant investment by the hotel industry in new properties, experiences and automation proliferate.
- GDP predictions are positive for most regions of the world signaling anticipated growth in both corporate and leisure travel while in December 2018 the U.S. dollar hit its strongest level in 30 years, boding well for outbound international travel among Americans.
- Airlines are continuing to add new equipment, new routes and new destinations and investing heavily in the customer experience, ranging from Wi-Fi and in-flight entertainment to seating in premium cabins and improved security automation. At the same time, the average cost for international and domestic flights has not increased significantly, according to Travel Leaders Group sales information.
- A recent survey among more than 3,500 consumers, conducted by Travel Leaders Group, concluded that 91 percent of North American consumers plan to travel the same or more in 2019 versus the year prior while nearly 90 percent plan to spend the same or more this year
- Specialty and niche travel are continuing to accelerate at breakneck speed with 36 percent of respondents in the Travel Leaders Group survey indicating their travels, at least in part, will involve solo trips. Seventy percent of consumers are now placing emphasis on culinary offerings when choosing a travel destination while 63 percent make a point of trying local or regional wines and 44 percent try local craft beers when traveling. A separate Travel Leaders Group survey from 2018 conducted among travel advisors indicated 86 percent of respondents had experienced growth in adventure travel sales over the past three years
- A Phocuswright survey from late 2018 indicates a 13 percent increase in the U.S. travel agency market to $127 billion by 2021.