Updates 06/10/2022: Ohio's Travel Industry and Current Travel Research
AMERICAN TRAVELERS SEEKING INFORMATION ON INSPIRING NEW DESTINATIONS, YET DON'T "SEE THEMSELVES" IN ADS. PANDEMIC INFLUENCE CONTINUES TO BE MIXED BAG.
Key findings from Destination Analysts fielded May 2022:
- American travelers (86%) expect to travel in the next 12 months and the typical traveler expects to take three leisure trips before May 2023.
- More than 63% say they have a strong degree of openness to learning about new travel experiences and destinations to visit.
- However, more people are feeling unrepresented in the travel marketing they see. This month, 37% agreed with the statement “I’ve noticed that travel advertisements usually do not reflect people like myself”– up 5-points in the last four-weeks.
- When asked which destination images they’d find most appealing, American travelers replied:
- Beautiful scenery and landscapes (41%)
- Sunsets (26%)
- Families enjoying the beach (25%)
- Wildlife (24%)
- Friends enjoying the beach (24%)
- Iconic attractions (22%)
- Museums or cultural attractions (21%)
- Scenes from a fun road trip (19%)
- People dining in a restaurant (19%)
- People having fun at theme parks (18%)
- The least appealing images were theatrical performances, solo travelers in nature and scenes at sporting events.
- A third of Americans agree it’s a good time to spend money on travel. Additionally, 62% percent say leisure travel will be a high spending priority – the highest level it’s been since July 2021.
- Travelers remain considering rising prices. Sixty-one percent (61%) of American travelers say they’ll take fewer road trips if gas prices don’t come down this summer and/or stay closer to home (63%), both increased 3 percentage points.
- Thirty percent (30%) say they have cancelled a trip they had planned or considered because of high prices. When asked to rate how much a deterrent specific travel costs are, the two most commonly seen as “deal breakers” are gas (23%) and airfare (12%)
- Feelings about the pandemic and its impact on travel continue to be a mixed bag. More feel that the virus is impacting their ability to have meaningful travel experiences (up 5-points in the last month to 38%).
- In addition, amongst those who have taken an overnight trip in the last 3 months, 27% said they had more than moderate anxiety on their most recent trip (up over 8-points in the last month).
- Despite relaxed mask requirements on commercial aircrafts, a majority of travelers (59%) would still prefer that all passengers wear masks while onboard the plane. However, 34% say relaxed masking requirements increases their interest in traveling by air, compared to about 25% who disagree with this sentiment.
NEARLY THREE-QUARTERS OF TRAVELERS WANT TO USE THEIR PHONES TO MANAGE THEIR HOTEL STAY AND OTHER "HIGH-TECH AND LOW-TOUCH" TRENDS THAT ARE CHANGING THE FUTURE OF TRAVEL
Key findings from Oracle Hospitality and Skift published on HospitalityNet June 2022:
- Nearly three-quarters (73%) of travelers want to use their mobile device to manage their hotel experience, including checking in and out, paying, ordering food, and more.
- Personalizing a stay is important, such as picking their exact room and floor and paying for only the amenities they want. Nearly 40% of hotel executives see this ‘unbundled’ model as the future of hotel revenue management.
- 73% agree that they’re more likely to stay at a hotel that offers self-service technology to minimize contact with the staff and other guests.
- 38% want a fully self-service model, with staff only available upon request.
- 39% want to order room service from their phone or a chatbot.
- 49% are also looking for contactless payments (only 5% want to pay in crypto).
- 65% of hoteliers said incorporating new technologies for staff best describes their strategy to weather labor shortages and attract new talent.
- 54% added that their highest priority is to adopt tech that improves or eliminates the need for the front desk experience between now and 2025.
- 39% said they want a fully contactless experience for all basic hotel transactions (check-in/out, food & beverage, room keys, etc.).
- 34% said a staff shortage, and resulting slow service, would be their #1 deterrent to rebooking a hotel. However, just 23% noted that a lack of daily room cleaning is an issue, showing consumers have accepted (and 17% welcomed!) that this pre-pandemic mainstay is never coming back.
- 45% said on-demand entertainment access that seamlessly connects to their personal streaming or gaming accounts is their #1 must-have during their stay. Likewise, 45% of hotel executives said this in-room entertainment set-up is what they’re most likely to implement by 2025.
- 77% of travelers are interested in using automated messaging or chatbots for customer service requests at hotels.
- 43% want voice-activated controls for all amenities in their rooms (lights, curtains, door locks, etc.).
- 25% want room controls that auto-adjust temperature, lighting, and even digital art based on pre-shared preferences.
OUR WORKPLACE BENEFITS AND PROGRAMS, AS WELL AS OUR BOARD GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE, MAY INFLUENCE FUNDING DECISIONS
Key findings from Bayes Business School published in Tourism Economics, May 2, 2022:
- This study examined how (or if!) four aspects of corporate social responsibility impact financial investments and capital support in the hospitality and tourism industry. The four dimensions are social, corporate governance, product/service performance and environmental.
- Why is this important? It gives us a better idea of what metrics may be important to share if you are seeking funding and support. While many of us have no problem sharing information about how an investment will create additional revenue or why the tasks we do make a difference, talking about our stellar social and governance performance might give us the edge. You should consider talking about these, as they seem to influence decisions.
- Social and corporate governance dimensions seem to have the greatest influence on investment retention and attraction.
- Tourism-related businesses and organizations who scored high in the social dimension also had high levels of investment and support. This includes strong employee relations, workplace diversity and a sense of community. Metrics included:
- programs and efforts to ensure employees’ health and safety
- providing retirement benefits
- favorable union relations
- integrates diversity into its management and operations
- company’s efforts to benefit human rights, including indigenous peoples’ relations, labor and other human rights policies.
- company’s support of community through education, charity and volunteerism
- Those with strong corporate governance also showed stronger support of capital investments. This dimension includes who makes up the board, decision-making structure, and business ethics.
- While the environmental dimension had little impact in this study, this could be due to several reasons – 1. The study focused primarily on large-scale projects that may not be as dependent on natural resources as a draw and 2. The authors state that the demand for sustainability and environment-friendly policies is not new, and there may be underlying assumptions that tourism businesses have these in place.
- The authors said that while most companies lump corporate social responsibility into one “single collection,” this study allows you to see how four different elements of corporate social responsibility attraction “different reactions from different stakeholders.”
- Author Pawal Bilinski, says "Rather than trying to be good at everything to increase their image, companies seeking funding should conceptualize the dimensions of CSR, exploring what it is their investors care about and focus on that. Our research shows strong reactions to performance in both social awareness—by maintaining healthy relations with staff, strong employee engagement and community spirit—and corporate governance, through defined board structures, strong sense of business ethics and accountability."