Updates 8/12/22: Ohio's Travel Industry and Current Research
DROPPING GAS PRICES IMPACTING INTENT TO TRAVEL AND CHANGES IN TRAVEL SPENDING
Key findings from Longwoods International fielded Aug. 3, 2022:
- The recent decline in gas prices is having a positive impact on intent to travel.
- While close to a third of travelers (31%) say higher gas prices will greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months, this is a big difference from the 43% who reported the same in July.
- Still representing close to a third of travelers, those altering travel plans by traveling close to home; reducing the number of trips they will take; and spending less on retail, entertainment and food is dropping.
- Nineteen percent (19%) say that rising gas prices will not impact travel plans, up from 12% in July.
- Travelers who’ve taken a trip in the last three months report a mixed-bag of customer service. While 56% say they experienced the same level of service as before the pandemic, 22% report a lower level of service and another 22% say they experienced a higher level of service.
ADMISSION PRICING NOT SEEN AS A BARRIER TO VISITATION GIVEN BROAD ECONOMIC CONDITIONS
Key findings from Impacts Research published August, 2022 using Q2 data:
IMPACTS Research analyzes those interested and visiting different types of attractions, including museums, zoos, aquariums, science centers, parks, performing arts venues, etc.
- Many attractions report favorable attendance trends as visitation gradually returns to pre-pandemic levels.
- Economic conditions have raised the issue on whether admission prices should be lowered to prevent being a barrier to engagement and visitation.
- As of the end of June, there was a dip in projected travel spending by those visiting an attraction – a decrease of 13% for exhibit-based and attractions and 29% for performance-based attractions. This may be seen in a decline in gift shop and food purchases at attractions.
- Researchers note that admission pricing is a core component of a visitor’s experience. Just like travelers intend to still travel, but may “downgrade” their purchases for lodging or meals, researchers suggest that this is what’s happening with site-based visitation as well. A visitor can adjust spending in the gift shop or for snacks.
- When researchers asked attraction attendees about barriers to visitation, the following were identified:
- general concern about the economy
- travel costs, including fuel and airline tickets
- concern about financial markets
- Admission pricing – which is one of the only cost-related factors within our control – did not emerge as a barrier. Researchers suggest that tampering with ticket prices in reaction to broad economic issues risks doing more harm than good.
- Instead, they suggest continuing to engage with your customers digitally and to create fantastic content. Now is not the time to reduce promotional spending.
ACCESSIBILITY REMAINS A PRIORITY. TIPS FOR DESTINATIONS SEEKING TO ATTRACT TRAVELERS WITH DISABILITIES.
Key findings from MGMY Global’s Portrait of Travelers with Disabilities ™: Mobility and Accessibility fielded June 2022:
- Nearly all travelers with mobility aids encounter accommodations problems (96%) and 86% encounter flight issues.
- As travelers with mobility disabilities with nearly the same frequency as those without mobility issues, researchers call on the industry to provide the same experiences for these travelers as those without accessibility issues.
- Top issues reported for flights include lost or damaged mobility aids (4 in 10), and extended wait times for assistance before or after flights (6 in 10).
- Regarding lodging, 54% say they’ve been given rooms not matching what they booked, 81% have dealt with inaccessible showers or tubs and 52% have had beds too high to access.
- When asked what travel destinations could do to better attract these travelers, the following recommendations top the list:
- Provide more information on accessibility prior to visiting (84%)
- Make sure sidewalks, ramps and mobile lifts are available and operational (81%)
- Promote accessible lodging options (81%)
- Make more images or virtual tours of places available so a potential traveler can identify any obstacles.