Travelers Unfazed by Economic Pressures in 2024: Stats

Travel insurance provider World Nomads teamed up with Adventure.Travel to survey their combined communities about their travel intent for 2024. The top line? Ninety-six percent of respondents said they plan to travel in 2024. That said, the top factors driving travel decisions included regional political instability (44 percent); increased travel costs and other inflationary pressures (43 percent) and overtourism (24 percent).

“Despite economic pressures, travelers are far from ready to give up traveling in 2024,” said Christina Tunnah, general manager of marketing and brands, World Nomads. “Our survey found that travelers are prioritizing experiences over material goods, with nearly a quarter (22 percent) willing to cut back on other big purchases to continue traveling.”  

Twenty-seven percent of survey respondents say they plan to take fewer trips next year, with a 10 percent drop in travelers planning to take four or more trips next year compared to 2023 (from 33 percent to 23 percent). However, travelers are still traveling and still spending: A third of respondents said increased costs have not impacted their travel plans, with 86 percent planning to spend the same as or more than last year.

The severe airline delays and cancelations that plagued last year continue to be on the minds of travelers headed into 2024. Nearly half (45 percent) of respondents say airline delays and cancelations are their top stressor, followed by the cost of travel (37 percent), dealing with large crowds (28 percent), illness and injury abroad (27 percent) and safety and security concerns (26 percent). 

“With rising travel costs and an increase in travel disruptions over the past few years, we are not surprised to see that 87 percent of our audience is likely to purchase travel insurance in 2024, up from 79 percent in 2023,” Tunnah added. Respondents said their top three most important travel insurance benefits are emergency medical coverage (68 percent), trip cancelation (40 percent) and access to 24/7 emergency assistance (28 percent).

What are travelers looking for on their trips? Sixty-seven percent of respondents are most interested in exploring new destinations and more than half said active/adventure pursuits and nature and wildlife experiences drive their desire to travel. Similarly, hiking is the top activity for 63 percent of survey respondents, followed by snorkeling (28 percent) and kayaking/rafting (22 percent). Europe remains the most popular destination for 2024, with 54 percent of respondents saying they’re planning travel there. But interest in further afield destinations continues to increase, with half of respondents planning travel to Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia or New Zealand, compared to 37 percent last year. 

While more than half of respondents are planning one- or two-week trips, World Nomads have seen year-over-year growth in trips over three months. With remote working becoming more of a fixture for many, there has been a significant growth in trips for three or more months. The number of respondents planning extended trips has doubled from 2023.

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