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Published on : Thursday, May 21, 2015
The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) released its spring 2015 Packaged Travel Index which revealed an increase in travel spending by survey respondents this year of 8.3% and more have already booked travel this year – 34% compared to 26% in the fall of 2014.
USTOA’s Packaged Travel Index, conducted by Research Now, is a semi-annual survey that monitors the current and future travel plans of 1500 U.S. residents who reflect the demographics of the most recent US Census report. All participants currently possess a passport and plan to take at least one trip in the next 12 months.
“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.”
The Packaged Travel Index also tapped into attitudes and preferences of travelers in 2015 vs 2014 and found that while relaxation and spending time with family continue to be main reasons for travel, “family time” actually declined as a reason. In 2015, 45% cited “time with family” as a reason to travel compared to 53% in 2014.
Packaged travel appeals most to respondents traveling internationally, the three top reasons cited were language barriers, convenience and learning about other cultures.
A significant change appeared in the destinations where respondents plan to travel: fewer plan to travel in North America (67% in 2015 vs 73% in 2014), shifting to Europe which increased to 18% from 13% in 2014. When asked about their future travel plans, respondents in 2015 project they will take three trips in the next 12 months, the same number as in 2014.