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More U.S. Travelers Planning Trips in 2015 Despite Rising Hotel Rates, According to Survey

TripAdvisor Announces TripBarometer Study Results, Unveiling Global Travel Trends According to More than 44,000 Respondents Worldwide

U.S. the Most Popular Destination for World Travelers

NEWTON, Mass., March 11, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TripAdvisor® today announced the results of the TripBarometer¹ study, the world's largest accommodation and traveler survey¹. Conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm Ipsos, the TripBarometer study is the analysis of more than 44,000 global responses from travelers and the hotel sector, including more than 6,700 respondents from the U.S. The TripBarometer "Global Travel Economy" report reveals worldwide travel trends at country, region and global levels, highlighting year-over-year changes in consumer spending plans and trip planning, as well as hotelier confidence.

"The TripBarometer report paints a positive picture for travel this year, with travelers twice as likely to be increasing their vacation budgets than cutting their spending," said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer, TripAdvisor. "Across the board, people want to take more international trips and Australia, Italy and the U.S. continue to be the destinations topping travelers' wish lists."

International Trips for U.S. Travelers on the Rise, But Domestic Travel Remains Strongest

  • 67 percent of U.S. travelers plan to take an international leisure trip in 2015, as compared to 50 percent who reported taking one in 2014
  • 95 percent of U.S. travelers plan to take a domestic trip in 2015, as compared to 92 percent who reported taking one last year
  • U.S. travelers are ranked #2 among global respondents most likely to take a domestic trip in 2015, behind travelers from Brazil

While Travel is Expected to Rise, U.S. Traveler Budgets Remain Flat

U.S. travel budgets are expected to average $8,700 in 2015, the same as last year. One quarter of all U.S. respondents plan to keep their travel budgets at 2014 levels. Forty-three percent are planning to spend more on travel this year, compared to 23 percent who anticipate cutbacks, consistent with the global trend. The top reasons for spending increases are "going somewhere on my wish list" (49%) and "my family deserve it" (47%), while the top reasons for spending decreases are "I'm planning fewer long trips" (32%) and "I've not got enough money saved" (29%).

The U.S. is among the top 10 markets with the biggest travel budgets.

Markets that spent the most in 2014: Top 10 Markets that will spend the most in 2015: Top 10
(average of all countries after conversion into US$) (average of all countries after conversion into US$)
1 Switzerland $11,900 1 Switzerland $12,100
2 Australia $9,800 2 Australia $11,700
3 United States $8,700 3 New Zealand $9,500
4 United Kingdom $7,800 4 United States $8,700
5 New Zealand $7,700 5 United Kingdom $8,400
6 Germany $7,200 6 Germany $7,600
7 Austria $6,700 7 Canada $6,900
8 Canada $6,700 8 Austria $6,800
9 Japan $6,600 9 Ireland $6,300
10 Ireland $5,400 10 China $5,900

U.S. Ranks #1 Most Popular Destination

The U.S. is the #1 most popular destination worldwide according to the places travelers say they visited in 2014 and plan to visit in 2015. Yet, when travelers are asked about which destinations they would visit if "money is no object," Australia moves ahead, while the U.S. drops to #3.

Top 5 Most Popular Destinations for World Travelers

Places world travelers plan to visit in 2015:

  1. U.S.
  2. Japan
  3. Italy
  4. France
  5. U.K.

Top 5 "Dream Destinations" for U.S. Travelers

Places U.S. travelers say they would visit if money is no object:

  1. Italy
  2. Australia
  3. New Zealand
  4. Ireland
  5. Greece

Hotel Industry Confidence Rises and Room Rates Along with It:

Since the inaugural TripBarometer study two years ago, the results have shown a growing confidence in the global hotel sector. In 2013, two in three businesses (67%) felt optimistic about their profitability for the year ahead. This year, that proportion rises to nearly three in four (73%), and is driven largely by more hoteliers feeling "very optimistic" about their profitability for 2015.

Half of all properties globally (59% in the U.S.) intend to increase their room rates in 2015, according to survey respondents. More than one third (35%) of global accommodations and 42 percent of U.S. accommodations plan to raise rates by between 3-10 percent, with resorts the most likely to plan increases. South Africa (72%), Austria (68%) and Brazil (68%) are the most likely to raise rates, according to respondents, with over two thirds of businesses in these markets planning increases. Accommodations in China will see the biggest reductions in 2015, with 18 percent of hoteliers planning to decrease room rates, but not by more than 10 percent.

For the full TripBarometer report, infographic and global findings, please visit www.tripadvisor.com/tripbarometer and to see more information on travel trends, check out the TripAdvisor blog at http://blog.tripadvisor.com/.

¹Methodology: The TripBarometer study, by TripAdvisor, is based upon an online survey conducted from January 16 to February 2, 2015, conducted by Ipsos, a global research firm. A total of 44,277 interviews were completed in 32 markets, spanning 7 regions. The sample is made up of 34,016 consumers who are TripAdvisor website users and Ipsos online panelists who chose to take part in the survey and have researched their travel plans online in the last year; and 10,261 representatives from accommodation properties who use TripAdvisor free marketing services, making it the world's largest combined accommodation and traveler survey. The consumer survey data is weighted to represent the known profile of the global 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.

2Domestic spend calculated by applying the proportion of trips that will be domestic to a traveler's estimated 2015 travel spend.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world's largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 315 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 200 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.5 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.thefork.com (including www.lafourchette.com, www.eltenedor.com and www.iens.nl), www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.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, December 2014

**Source: Google Analytics, average monthly unique users, Q3 2014; does not include traffic to daodao.com

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

Source:TripAdvisor