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Australians planning the biggest travel budget for 2016, according to TripAdvisor study

December 16, 2015 OTA News No Comments Email Email

TripAdvisor® today announced the results of the latest TripBarometer1 study, the world’s largest accommodation and traveller survey, highlighting key travel trends for 2016. http://www.dreamhotels.com/bangkok/Conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm Ipsos, the TripBarometer study is the analysis of more than 44,000 survey responses from travellers and the hotel sector worldwide. The TripBarometer ‘2016 Travel Trends’ report presents a snapshot of the travel landscape for 2016, revealing global, country specific and regional travel trends.

Key findings include: 

  • Australians lead the pack with the biggest travel budget of around AUD15,000 whilst the global average sits at just over AUD7,000
  • One in three global travellers plan to increase their travel budgets in 2016, with 49% saying they’ll spend more because they feel as though they and their family deserve it
  • 49% of Australian travellers will be spending more because they are planning a longer trip, with 42% citing that their reason for spending more is because they have been saving up for their next trip
  • Special offers determine the choice of destination for half of all travellers
  • 63% of global travellers will look elsewhere if a hotel does not have air-conditioning, making it the number one deal-breaker for booking decisions, ahead of the property’s Wi-Fi offering. Over a third of Australian travellers (41%) will look elsewhere if the accommodation they’re considering doesn’t have a kettle, tea bags and coffee

 “Value is key for global travellers in 2016, as they look to get the most out of their trips. While a third plan to increase their travel budgets for next year, the majority of global travellers expect essential amenities to be included in the price of their hotel and more than half say special offers can play a big part in their choice of destination,” said Helena Egan, director, global industry relations, TripAdvisor. “This year’s TripBarometer reveals the key trends shaping the travel landscape for 2016, including hoteliers’ plans to increase room rates and invest heavily in online reputation management.” 

Sense of merit and perceived health benefits drive increase in travel budgets for 2016 

One in three travellers globally plan to spend more on their trips in 2016. The number one reason travellers will increase their travel budgets next year is because they feel that they and their family deserve it. Nearly one in three will spend more because they believe travel is important for their health and wellbeing, and one in four will spend more because they plan to visit long haul destinations.

Australians will spend the most in 2016, with an average travel budget of AUD15,000 – over double the global average of AUD7,000. Switzerland (AUD13,900), US (AUD11,600) and UK (AUD11,300) also plan to spend well above the average. In comparison, Japan, Asia’s highest spending country, will be spending an average of AUD7,500 on their holidays in 2016. 49% of Australian travellers will be spending more because they are planning a longer trip, with 42% citing that their reason for spending more is because they have been saving up for their next trip. 

Special offers determine the choice of destination for over half of global travellers 

A destination’s culture and society is far and away the most popular individual driver for travellers considering where to take a trip, with 47% of respondents saying they visit a country because of its culture and people.

However, more than half of global travellers say they have chosen a destination as a result of special offers. Accommodation packages are the leading type of special offer for influencing travellers’ selection of destination, with one in five (21%) saying they have chosen to visit somewhere because of a hotel’s special offer.

Recommendation power is important when it comes to choosing a destination with almost a third of Australian travellers (32%) saying they have visited a destination because it was recommended by a friend or relative. 

Staying cool and connected are the top deal-breakers for global travellers 

When it comes to amenities, whether or not a hotel has air conditioning is a deal-breaker for potential guests. Sixty three percent of travellers want their accommodation to have air conditioning, and it needs to be included in the price; if not, they will look elsewhere. Similarly, almost half of all travellers globally (46%) will not consider a hotel that doesn’t have free Wi-Fi, although one in 10 (11%) say they would be willing to pay extra for super-fast Wi-Fi.

One in four travellers (26%) won’t book a hotel that doesn’t have a swimming pool, and over a third of Australian travellers (41%) will look elsewhere if the accommodation they’re considering doesn’t have a kettle, tea bags and coffee. 

Room rates on the up around the world

 Globally, 47% of hoteliers are raising their room rates, with accommodation owners in South America the most likely to do so (56%) among the regions. Most hoteliers are increasing rates to compensate for increased overhead costs (65%), although more than a third are increasing rates because they recently completed renovations (37%) and due to increase demand (35%).

Three in four business owners are optimistic about profitability in 2016, and the majority of those who are believe that local events and conferences taking place in their market will a positive impact on their business. Changes in tourist attractions in the area (54%) and changes in the number of restaurants and shops in their area (47%) are also factors hoteliers believe will positively impact profitability in the coming year. Australia will see a number of additions to the hospitality landscape in 2016 including the opening of additional towers at Barangaroo and the scheduled opening of the QT in Melbourne.

Online reputation management still topping the list of investment priorities for 2016

Online traveller reviews are cited by 93% of accommodation owners as being the most important element for the future of their business. It’s no surprise then that online reputation management remains the biggest area of planned investment for hoteliers in 2016, with 59% investing more in this area next year.

The vast majority of hoteliers see increasing direct bookings (91%) as key for the future of their business. This explains why just under half of all accommodation owners plan to invest more in marketing and advertising (48%) and traffic acquisition (47%) in 2016.

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