New Survey Reveals Consumers Are Splurging on Travel and Experiences Again

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After years of spending most of their time indoors, a recent 5WPR survey has found that consumers are once again splurging on travel and experiences. More specifically, 51% of Americans tend to splurge and buy the best they can afford when thinking about making travel and experience purchases, compared to 38% of consumers who listed the category as a splurge in the agency’s 2022 survey.

“Since Q4 2022, consumers have reported a 13% increase in their interest to splurge rather than save on travel and experiences, indicating their appetite for travel has increased over the course of 2023, and going into 2024,” said 5WPR Co-CEO Dara A. Busch in a news release. “With travel heavily influenced by external factors, including rising costs for transportation and airfare, consumers’ willingness to splurge isn’t enough to ensure a booming year of business, however. Companies in this space need to meet consumer interest with a strategic communications and digital program to target consumers in the right place at the right time.”

Top Influences for Consumer Travel

Word-of-mouth is the top channel consumers report relying on to discover travel destinations (46%), as well as the top channel to further research their desired trip (40%), the survey states. Social media is also a favored tool for discovery, with consumers citing YouTube (41%), Instagram (31%) and TikTok (29%) as channels they rely on.

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When it comes to research, YouTube (37%) is still favored of the three social media platforms, according to the survey. However, it is followed by Tourism Board Websites (28%) and Travel Publications (26%) before shifting back to the remaining two social platforms: TikTok (26%) and Instagram (25%).

“Consumers are tapping into more than one channel to discover their next travel destination and curate one-of-a-kind experiences,” shared Busch in the release. “Their multichannel approach to planning means it’s crucial for destinations and experiences to engage on all platforms, from traditional media like websites and print publications to social media and short-form video apps. When the competition for consumer attention is so close between all channels, with users barely favoring one platform over another, a well-rounded communications approach is vital for brand impact.”

Inflation Impacting Travel Destinations

Seventy-eight percent of respondents shared inflation has impacted the way they choose travel destinations and 43% of those shared their choices have been impacted significantly, the survey states.

“Even with reports of consumers prioritizing spending on vacations, there are still challenges faced by destinations and experiences,” continued Busch in the release. “Inflation continues to impact spending, and travelers will ultimately end up booking the experience they know will be worth it. This might be the best financial deal, or staying at a good-reputation hotel that offers high-quality experiences.”