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New Experiences and Bonding With Loved Ones Top Vacation Motivations for U.S. Travelers

NEWTON, Mass., Sept. 24, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site*, today announced the results of the latest installment of TripBarometer, the world's largest traveler and accommodation survey1 focusing for the first time on the Psychology of Travel. The biannual study, conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm Ipsos, highlights country, regional and global travel trends according to more than 53,000 travelers and hoteliers around the world, with more than 5,900 respondents from the U.S. The TripBarometer: Psychology of Travel report examines the motivations behind travelers' vacation choices, traveler emotions at the various stages of a vacation and the post-trip impact of travel.

U.S. Travelers Prioritize Unique Experiences, Family Time and Cultural Enrichment

When asked what they want out of vacation, the top priority for U.S. travelers was to have unique and interesting experiences, according to 66 percent of respondents. Below are the top motivations and how U.S. travelers compare to travelers globally:

What Travelers Want from Vacation U.S. travelers Worldwide travelers
Provide unique and interesting experiences 66% 55%
Enjoy special moments together with loved ones 47% 42%
Broaden knowledge and enrich understanding of the world 45% 44%
Help to enjoy life to the fullest 45% 45%
Get immersed in the local culture 41% 36%

"Travelers from Barcelona to Beijing crave unique and interesting experiences. Whether they get a few days or a few weeks of vacation, they want more from their trips than time spent lounging by the pool," said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer, TripAdvisor. "The TripBarometer: Psychology of Travel report shows us that travelers want their vacation to count – it's about broadening horizons, feeling immersed in local culture and sharing the experience with loved ones."

The Emotions of the Travel Lifecycle for U.S. Travelers

The TripBarometer shows that the travel lifecycle is an emotional experience, as feelings ebb and flow throughout various stages of the trip:

Travel Stage Excited Relaxed Fulfilled
Booking 64% 6% 4%
Arrival at destination 69% 23% 10%
During the stay 40% 49% 19%
Departing from destination 8% 31% 55%
Back home 6% 38% 51%

Globally, men have a higher tendency to feel 'knowledgeable' (27%) at the booking stage, whereas women are more 'excited' (60%). Twenty-two percent of men report feeling 'in control' on departure and 15 percent of men say they feel 'confident' once back home, higher than the global average at both stages.

In contrast, hoteliers have an opportunity to entice travelers when they are excited, and to contribute to their guests feeling more knowledgeable throughout their stay. As part of the study, hoteliers were asked what actions they took throughout the traveler journey to relate to their guests. Fifty-two percent of global hoteliers say their main priority is to ensure a smooth and efficient process at booking and 36 percent are keen to minimize any potential stress leading up to arrival.

"The results of the TripBarometer highlight that hoteliers can stand out from the competition by providing unique and enriching experiences. And while it's no surprise that travelers tend to be excited when they book and prepare for a trip, hoteliers are missing an opportunity to capitalize on that excitement and begin building a lasting relationship with their guests. Only a minority of hotels are currently making this a priority, but those who do also tend to receive more repeat guests," said Marc Charron, president, TripAdvisor for Business.

The Post-Vacation Impact on U.S. Travelers

When asked what a return from vacation is most likely to prompt them to do, the vast majority go about researching their next trip and also make some lifestyle changes:

  1. Plan more vacations – 76% (66% globally)
  2. Introduce new food into diet – 55% (38% globally)
  3. Become more open minded and tolerant of others – 49% (45% globally)
  4. Have more appreciation for home city – 41% (34% globally)
  5. Focus more on relationships with friends and family – 31% (23% globally)

¹ Methodology: The TripBarometer study, by TripAdvisor, is based upon an online survey conducted from July 17 to August 5, 2014, conducted by Ipsos, a global research firm. A total of 53,804 interviews were completed in 32 markets, spanning seven regions. The sample is made up of 39,721 consumers who are TripAdvisor website users and Ipsos online panelists who have researched their travel plans online in the last year, and 14,083 representatives from accommodations on the TripAdvisor database, making it the world's largest combined accommodation and traveler survey. The consumer survey data is weighted to represent the known profile of the online population, to keep in line with previous waves of TripBarometer. Equal weighting is also applied at country level for the business survey. For additional information about TripBarometer, please visit www.tripadvisor.com/tripbarometer and download the global report.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching nearly 280 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 170 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 45 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (Nasdaq:TRIP) manages and operates websites under 24 other travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.lafourchette.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travelpod.com, www.tripbod.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com, www.viator.com, www.virtualtourist.com, and www.kuxun.cn.

* Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, Q1 2014

** Source: Google Analytics, average monthly unique users, Q2 2014; does not include traffic to daodao.com

CONTACT: Kevin Carter (617) 795-7577 kcarter@tripadvisor.com

Source:TripAdvisor