Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Tue May 26 2015

USTOA Survey Says People Spending More, but Less Interested in Family Travel in 2015

Tour Operator | U.S. Tour Operators Association | David Cogswell | May 26, 2015

USTOA Survey Says People Spending More, but Less Interested in Family Travel in 2015

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Look Up!

Terry Dale

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 Look Up!

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People are spending more money on travel this year than in 2014, according to a study conducted twice a year by the U.S. Tour Operators Association. According to the survey, spending is up 8.3 percent, from 26 percent in 2014 to 36 percent in comparison with a similar study done six months previously.

It was the second in a projected series of studies on packaged travel that will be conducted twice a year. The survey was conducted by Research Now, which selected 1,500 U.S. residents who mirror the demographic traits of the U.S. population at large. All the participants were passport holders and plan to take at least one trip during the coming year.

“In just six months from the first survey, we found an optimistic outlook for travel by the survey respondents,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO of USTOA. “Not only is spending up already this year but more people are planning to travel internationally.”

With only one study in the series done previously, it is hard to judge trends from the figures, but according to the survey, “spending time with family” as a reason for travel actually declined in the second study from 53 percent to 45 percent.

Family travel has been booming since 2000. Is it possible that the boom is hitting a plateau? The figures in the next study six months from now could shed light on that question.

Packaged travel, the business of the USTOA, is a service that is better appreciated in travel abroad than in domestic travel. The top reasons for choosing a trip with a tour operator as opposed to traveling independently were language barriers, convenience, and learning about other cultures.

The survey also showed a shift in destination preferences from the previous study six months ago.

The number of people saying they plan to travel in North America dropped from 73 percent to 67 percent. That five percent drop was reflected in a five percent increase in the number of those who plan to travel in Europe, from 13 percent to 18 perecent.

The subjects indicated they expect to take an average of three trips in 2015, the same number as in the 2014 survey.

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