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Wed, 16 December 2015

TripAdvisor Study Forecasts Key Travel Trends for 2016; Australians to Spend Most

TripAdvisor has unveiled the results of its latest TripBarometer study, forecasting key travel trends for 2016.

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 country-level, regional and global travel trends.

Key findings:

One in four Asian travellers have chosen a destination due to cheap flights;

67% of Asian 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 propertys in-room Wi-Fi offering;

Two in five Asian hoteliers plan to raise rates due to increased demand; and

94% of Asian hoteliers cite online reviews as the most important factor for future business.

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 years 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.

Travel Budgets for 2016

One in three Asian travellers plan to spend more on their trips in 2016 the number one reason being that they feel that they and their family deserve it (52% cited this reason). 38% are planning longer trips next year and 37% are planning to go somewhere on their wish-list.

Australians are set to spend the most globally in 2016 with an average travel budget of US$10,900, followed by the Swiss (US$10,100) and the Americans (US$8,400). Asian travellers are more conservative in comparison, with Japan ranking the highest with an average travel budget of US$5,600, followed by China (US$3,600), India (US$3,100), Thailand (US$2,200), Malaysia (US$2,100) and Indonesia (US$1,400).

Special Offers

A destinations culture and society is by far the most popular individual driver for travellers considering where to take a trip, with 42% of Asian respondents say they visit a country because of its culture and people. However, more than one in two travellers globally say they have chosen a destination as a result of special offers.

In Asia with its multitude of low cost carrier options, one in four travellers (25%) say they have chosen to visit a destination because of a cheap flight. The three markets most likely to do this are Malaysia (39%), Indonesia (36%) and China (23%).

Recommendation power is important when it comes to choosing a destination; over a quarter of Asian travellers (27%) say they have visited a destination because it was recommended by a friend or relative.

Staying Cool and Connected

When it comes to amenities, the top deal-breaker for Asian travellers is air conditioning with 67% of travellers say they will look elsewhere if it is not available. Globally, nearly half (46%) of travellers will not consider a hotel that does not have free wifi, with 11% say they would be willing to pay extra for super-fast wifi.

In Asia, traveller preferences vary with 60% of Chinese travellers say they would look elsewhere if in-room wifi was not offered and 39% say that superfast wifi is essential. In contrast, 16% of Indian travellers would pay extra for superfast wifi and just 9% would pay extra for in-room wifi.

Other Asian staples are breakfast and the in-room kettle, with over one in three Asian travellers (36%) say they would look elsewhere if the accommodation they are considering does not provide breakfast at the standard rate or have a kettle in the room. Close to one in five Asian travellers (19%) will also not book a hotel without a swimming pool.

Room Rates on the Rise

Globally, 47% of hoteliers are raising their room rates, with accommodation owners in Asia the least likely to do so (39%). Of those planning to increase rates, 53% of accommodation owners in Asia plan to do so to cover increased overhead costs and 40% of them to accommodate for increased demand.

Nearly two in three (64%) business owners in Asia are optimistic about profitability in 2016, with the majority of those believing that decreasing flight fares (68%) will have the most impact, followed by local events and conferences taking place in their market (58%) and changes in nearby tourist attractions (56%).

Investment Priorities for 2016

Online traveller reviews are cited by 94% of accommodation owners in Asia as most important for the future of their business, the importance being even higher in some markets including Indonesia (99%) and Japan (96%). Unsurprisingly, online reputation management remains the biggest area of planned investment for hoteliers in 2016, with 59% globally investing more in this area next year and 69% for hoteliers in Asia.

The hospitality Industry in Asia also appears to be placing a focus on customer experience in 2016, with 61% of businesses say that they are planning to invest in staff training, higher than the Americas (55%) and Europe (38%).

Globally, 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.

See also: Future of Air Travel - HD Video Interview with SITA President for Asia Pacific.

TripAdvisor, Ipsos, Forecast, Outlook, ADR, RevPAR, Travel Trends

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