The Week in Travel Stats: Top Insights on Traveler Behavior

This week in the travel industry new research peered into the minds of travelers. Here are the top trends you need to know. 

50 Percent of Holiday Travelers Wait for Last-Minute Deals

ADARA's new Holiday 2015 Travel Prediction report shows the continued allure of last-minute holiday travel, which means there's still time to sell. According to the report, in 2014, only half of all holiday flights were booked by November 17, and half of all holiday hotel stays were booked after December 14.

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The report indicates that agents can expect a large amount of last-minute holiday travel bookings in 2015, and ultimately, plenty of opportunities to engage key audiences.

While the data indicates that consumers search for the best deal, sometimes pushing up against the eleventh hour, not everyone waits until last minute. Family travelers are the segment most likely to purchase in advance, prioritizing air travel over accommodations, likely to avoid paying for hefty air fares. For flights, the search to booking window is similar across traveler types, but the advanced purchase window varies widely; from nearly 70 days in advance for families, to just 34 days for solo travelers.

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35 Percent of Millennials Use Travel Agents to Decide on Hotel

Also this week Choice Hotels released some new statistics spotlighting the major travel habits of Millennial travelers, from their reasons for staying in a hotel to how they go about picking one. 

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The survey was conducted in partnership with The Center for Generational Kinetics. The national survey polled 1,000 U.S. adults, ages 18-65 between September 30 - October 3, 2015.

Source: Choice Hotels

U.S. Cruise Passengers Up 5.8 Percent in 2014

Finally, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) released a new report showing that cruise travel is gaining ground among travelers. According to the latest edition of "The Contribution of the International Cruise Industry to the U.S. Economy" for 2014, U.S. cruise passengers set another record for that year, with 11.33 million cruise travelers marking a 5.8 percent rise from 2013. 

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That increase marks the industry's highest rate of growth since 2010. U.S.-sourced cruise passengers now stand 12 percent higher than in 2010.  Cruise passenger embarkations at U.S. ports increased by 11 percent in 2014 to 11.06 million, another new high and the highest increase since 2004, when embarkations rose 13.9 percent. This increase was primarily the result of a redeployment of capacity from Europe to North America in response to stronger economic conditions, CLIA said.

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Spending by cruise lines and cruise passengers in the U.S. also rose by 4.6 percent to $21 billion in 2014, 16.4 percent higher than in 2010 and another new peak. $15.63 billion in cruise line expenditures for goods and services, including capital expenditures, accounted for 74 percent of this direct spending, a 3.6 percent increase from 2013. Cruise line direct expenditures for wages and taxes paid to U.S. federal , state and local governments increased by 2.4 percent to $1.43 billion, or 7 percent of total direct expenditures. $3.96 billion in passenger and crew spending accounted for the remaining 19 percent of direct cruise industry spending. Passenger and crew spending increased by 8.9 percent, the sharpest increase since 2005 and a 16 percent increase since 2010. 

Source: CLIA

Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for the latest travel industry stats, trends and research. 

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