Stats: One-Third Have Taken an “Obligation Vacation”

Traveling to attend a baby shower is one example of an "obligation vacation." // Photo by jacoblund/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

One-third of U.S. adults indicate they have taken at least one vacation where they felt obligated to do so based on friends or family expectations, holiday traditions, weddings, graduations, baby showers, etc.  Among these travelers, nearly half (46%) indicate that they enjoy “obligation vacations” as much as vacations they plan for their own reasons. Half (49%) also indicate that they have been inspired to return to a destination they visited on an “obligation vacation.”

The data is the latest finding from MMGY Global’s travelhorizons survey of 2,303 U.S. adults. Previously, the report had found that, following two record years for the travel industry, Traveler Sentiment and Intentions are beginning to taper off.  Traveler Sentiment displayed a 6 point decrease from this time last year while travel intentions also displayed a 6 point decrease, according to the survey.

The overall Traveler Sentiment Index (TSI), which measures U.S. adults’ interest in travel, time available for travel, personal finances available for travel, perceived affordability of travel, quality of service, and perceived safety of travel, currently stands at 110, down six points from this time last year (116).  This decrease can be attributed to a fourteen point decrease in perceived affordability of travel (160), an eight point decrease in time available to travel (105) and six point decreases in interest in travel (97), personal finances available for travel (118) and quality of service received while traveling (113).

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Six in 10 (59 percent) U.S. adults state that they plan to travel for leisure during the next six months, down significantly from last year’s 65 percent. Their intended number of trips (2.4) is unchanged from the number reported last year (2.5).  When asked if they plan to spend more, less, or about the same amount on leisure travel during the next six months compared to the same six months last year, 23 percent of respondents plan to spend more on vacation while only 15 percent plan to spend less, yielding a significant positive difference (+8 points) in vacation spending intentions.  With the number of trips decreasing but spend increasing, the net is an increased amount of spend per trip.

Source: MMGY Global

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