SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 7, 2019--
Inc. (NYSE: WEX), a leading provider of corporate payment solutions, has
released its 2019 Travel Trends and Expectations report
in partnership with Mastercard, which conducted the primary research.
For the second consecutive year, the report yields rich insight into how
U.S. travelers view the travel landscape and how these attitudes and
preferences will impact travel behaviors in 2019. This data is intended
to help inform travel companies of the shifts in the travel market as
business planning for the new year solidifies.
Among the key findings, travel abroad is anticipated to increase
in 2019. In particular, more travelers say they will travel to Europe in
2019 than in 2018, and Asia/Pacific has become a popular destination
among younger travelers. The data uncovered additional trends, including:
AI as the new travel agents: The data showed a slight increase
in awareness of travel bots—which allow travel booking by voice—from
2017 to 2018, with 21 percent of surveyed Americans saying they would
be comfortable booking a trip by voice (e.g., with Alexa or Google
Home). Nearly a quarter of respondents among all age groups (23
percent) agree that a digital assistant would improve the booking
Travel with a purpose: From yoga retreats to international
hiking trips, cycling adventures, volunteering or “foodie” tours, all
signs point to travelers being more adventurous in 2019—and younger
travelers seem to be driving this shift. They’re also more likely than
Gen X and particularly Boomers to combine leisure travel with a
purpose, such as volunteering, and to travel to take a class or learn
a new skill.
Age is more than just a number: In terms of how people book,
older travelers still prefer to book directly with an airline or hotel
while online travel agencies are more popular with Millennials. Age
even has bearing on how travelers pay for their getaways. Older
travelers are more likely to use their credit cards to pay for travel
expenses, while younger travelers are more likely to use debit cards.
Sharing economy shaking up traditional models: The two cohorts
that are most open to sharing economy services like Airbnb and Uber
are Gen Z (62 percent) and Millennials (56 percent). For Millennials
in particular (53 percent), the majority sentiment is that sharing
economy services allow them to afford travel. Many respondents also
reported that they use these services because they make them feel like
Hotels still rule in accommodations: The desire for pampered,
comfortable accommodations outweighs the thirst for accommodations
that offer an authentic, live-like-a-local experience. Across age
cohorts, hotels remain the most popular accommodation type. Three
quarters of those who prefer to stay in hotels do so because they like
feeling that everything is taken care of for them. The majority of
travelers also say they prefer staying in a hotel because it makes
them feel like a tourist.
Personalization inspires younger consumers to pull the trigger:
As expected, younger users are more engaged with new travel
technologies and report being more open to receiving personalized
suggestions digitally. Almost one-quarter of all respondents (24
percent) would allow a computer to plan a trip based on data from
their previous travel history; however, Gen Z and Millennials are
almost three times as willing to consider this than Boomers.
“Technology is the thread connecting many of our travel findings and
predictions for 2019,” said Jay Dearborn, president of WEX Corporate
Payments. “The influence of technology on the travel industry, and on
both the imagination and preparedness of today’s travelers, simply
cannot be overstated. It is our hope that this report provides travel
industry professionals with the insights they need to reach today’s
self-directed travelers where they’re most likely to be: online.”
“Now that we’re in our second year of working with WEX to develop this
report, we’ve been able to compare and track changes from the previous
year, giving us great insight into exactly where the shifts in
Americans’ travel habits and expectations are occurring,” said Ed
Glassman, executive vice president North American markets at Mastercard.
“Disruptive new services and technologies have made it a very exciting
time to be both a consumer and a provider of travel services.”
Download the full report here.
The 25-minute self-administered web-based
interviews were conducted from Oct. 3, 2018, through Oct. 22, 2018.
There were 1,502 total respondents, with key demographic segments
including, Gen Z, 18-20 (90); Millennials, 21-34 (436); Gen X, 35-54
(556); and Boomers, 55-70 (421). Before taking the survey, respondents
were screened to ensure they had taken three or more personal
(non-business related) overnight trips in the past 12 months.
Powered by the belief that complex payment systems
can be made simple, WEX Inc. (NYSE: WEX) is a leading provider of
payment processing and business solutions across a wide spectrum of
sectors, including fleet, travel and healthcare. WEX operates in more
than 10 countries and in more than 20 currencies through more than 3,500
associates around the world. WEX fleet cards offer 11.5 million vehicles
exceptional payment security and control; purchase volume in its travel
and corporate solutions grew to $30.3 billion in 2017; and the WEX
Health financial technology platform helps 300,000 employers and more
than 25 million consumers better manage healthcare expenses. For more
information, visit www.wexinc.com.
is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global
payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions,
merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and
territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce
activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and
managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for
everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews,
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View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190107005137/en/
Source: WEX Inc.