The Latin American travel trade sector sometimes doesn’t have channels of communication that necessarily make it to North America, as it does in this instance. Just recently, Travel2Latam* wrote about TravelBoom‘s 2022 Leisure Travel Trends Study. (TravelBoom, a data-driven digital marketing agency for hotels, resorts, and vacation rental companies, is based in Myrtle Beach, S.C.) TravelBoom’s study surveyed more than 2,000 travelers in 2022.
The results reveal surprising changes in travel planning and booking behavior that are affected by rising costs, the broader economy, ongoing risks from COVID-19 and technology. The study examines the mindset and behavior of travelers from the inception of the idea of traveling to how they interact with their chosen destinations before, during and after their stay. It also displays vital metrics and pinpoints guest booking preferences and behavior changes from year to year. Some of its findings follow:
- Price matters, as 36 percent of travelers say they may cancel planned vacations due to budget issues.
- Travelers are doing more research online, as the average traveler visits 5.5 websites during their booking process and does more research than ever before.
- In the wake of COVID-19 and a global pandemic, the factors that affect travel plans are changing. Transportation costs, amenities, and loyalty programs are just a few of the factors that can affect a traveler’s decision.
- COVID-19 continues to influence travel. Fifty-five percent of the population still consider the pandemic before booking a trip. Only 13.5 percent of U.S. leisure travelers say COVID-19 is a major influence on travel, compared to 45 percent of Canadian travelers. Showing that COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on international travel.
- Reviews have never been more important to travelers choosing where to stay. Eighty-two percent of travelers will not book a property without reading reviews first.
- Vacation rental sites are taking a bite out of online travel agencies (OTAs). VRBO and Airbnb are growing significantly in usage, at the expense of OTAs like Expedia.
“Leisure travel continues to be one of the hardest hit industries in the post-pandemic period and consumers are acutely aware of inflation, lingering COVID-19 concerns, coupled with high expectations for destinations and accommodations,” said Pete DiMaio, TravelBoom’s chief operating officer. “Our annual Leisure Travel Trends study allows us to better understand the consumer mindset and shopping journey so we can tailor our marketing strategies for greater impact.”
* Travel2Latam is based in Miami, which is regarded in much of South and Central America as a Latin American hub.)
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