2021
9
US Vacation Planning and Inspiration Market Report 2021
2021-05-19T04:18:07+01:00
OX1047459
3695
138363
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Report
en_GB
“After a long year-plus slog, there are finally strong signs that travel is recovering from the shock of COVID-19. Travel planners are beginning to prioritize pandemic issues less and think…

US Vacation Planning and Inspiration Market Report 2021

£ 3,695 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the US Vacation Planning and Inspiration Consumer market including the behaviors, preferences, and habits of the consumer.

Travel took a nosedive during the pandemic, but now that vaccines are being rolled out nationwide, consumers are planning travel once again. Travel planners are optimistic that they will be able to move about freely as early as this summer, so brands need to be available and effective in inspiring travel. Most importantly, brands will want to refocus on informing travelers about activities at destinations. However, they must do this with a light touch, as planners still feel ownership of their travel plans.

Read on to discover more about the US Vacation Planning and Inspiration consumer market and vacation planning trends, read our US COVID-19 Impact on Travel: One Year Later | Market Report 2021, or take a look at our other Leisure Travel Market research reports.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the vacation planning market.
  • How the evolving attitudes toward the pandemic are affecting consumer outlook on travel.
  • The emerging concerns of planners and which will persist beyond the pandemic.
  • Where and how travel providers can demonstrate value to planners without asking them to relinquish control of the process.

Covered in this report

Brands include: TikTok, Tourism New Zealand, Contiki, American Airlines, Marriott, Expedia, EMBARK Beyond, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Travel Alberta, Goibibo, Hertz.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Mike Gallinari, a leading analyst in the Travel & Leisure sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

After a long year-plus slog, there are finally strong signs that travel is recovering from the shock of COVID-19. Travel planners are beginning to prioritize pandemic issues less and think about venturing out again. Travel providers can help them in the planning stage by making the process enjoyable, providing relevant, informative listings, and making themselves available to handle questions and issues quickly.


Mike Gallinari

Travel & Leisure Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
          • COVID-19: US context
            • Economic and other assumptions
            • Executive Summary

                • Top takeaways
                  • Market overview
                    • Figure 1: Vacations planned in the past 24 months, by destination, March 2021
                  • Impact of COVID-19 on travel and vacation planning
                    • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on travel and vacation planning, May 2021
                  • Opportunities
                    • Shrinking social circles give social media more influence
                      • Figure 3: Sources of travel inspiration, March 2021
                    • Safety takes a backseat to activities
                      • Figure 4: Vacation research priorities, March 2021
                    • Personalization and fun can shore up brand affinity
                      • Figure 5: Attitudes toward online planning aides, by age group, March 2021
                    • Challenges
                      • Brands aren’t wholly welcome in the planning process
                        • Figure 6: Vacation planning responsibility preferences, March 2021
                      • Planners don’t feel understood by brands
                        • Figure 7: Attitudes toward travel decisions, by age, March 2021
                      • Brands need to be able to speak both realistically and idealistically
                        • Figure 8: Enjoyable parts of planning, by age and by HHI, March 2021
                      • What it means
                      • Target Travel Markets – Key Takeaways

                        • Different types of travelers need different levels of encouragement
                          • Optimism is rising
                            • Economic factors are favorable for travel’s return
                            • Rate of Vacation Planning

                                • Figure 9: Vacations planned in the past 24 months, by destination, March 2021
                              • Target Travel Markets
                                • Young high-income earners: keep them going
                                    • Figure 10: Vacation planning behaviors and attitudes, by age group and HHI, March-April 2021
                                  • Parents: Give them a nudge
                                      • Figure 11: Vacation planning behaviors and attitudes, by parental status, March-April 2021
                                    • Older consumers: coax them out
                                        • Figure 12: Vacation planning behaviors and attitudes, by age group, March-April 2021
                                    • Impact of COVID-19 on Travel and Vacation Planning

                                        • Figure 13: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on travel and vacation planning, May 2021
                                      • Immediate impacts
                                        • Short term
                                          • Recovery
                                            • Optimism about vaccine rollout spurs vacation planning
                                              • Figure 14: Attitudes toward COVID-19, December 2020 – April 2021
                                            • Consumers are getting excited about traveling
                                              • Figure 15: Coronavirus spending habits, September 2020 -April 2021
                                              • Figure 16: Future activities June 2020-April 2021
                                            • However, rising cases may bring plans and optimism to a halt
                                              • Figure 17: Travel comfort levels, by age group, March 2021
                                            • Domestic destinations can appeal to vaccinated White and Asian travelers
                                              • Figure 18: Travel comfort levels, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2021
                                          • Market Factors

                                            • Plateauing unemployment can limit travel planning
                                              • Figure 19: Unemployment and underemployment, January 2007- February 2021
                                            • Steady consumer confidence can portend more involved trip planning
                                              • Figure 20: Consumer Sentiment Index, January 2007- March 2021
                                            • Savings rate indicates a personal budget windup
                                              • Figure 21: Personal Saving Rate, percentage, monthly, seasonally adjusted annual rate, Jan 2019 – Feb 2021
                                            • TSA throughput indicates air travel is recovering
                                              • Figure 22: TSA checkpoint travel numbers, monthly, 2019 vs 2021
                                            • Pandemic-related stress will make mental health a long-term travel goal
                                            • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                              • Remote work offers more flexible trip planning
                                                • Providers will need to cater to the fur-baby boom
                                                  • If you’re not already on TikTok…tick tock
                                                    • It’s time to accept the next normal
                                                    • Market Opportunities

                                                      • The expansion of remote work will benefit certain travel verticals
                                                        • A slew of new pet owners means more travel planning considerations
                                                          • Revenge travel can increase travel volume
                                                            • Figure 23: EMBARK Beyond Comeback Trips, April 2021
                                                          • Cruise demand provides upselling, possible overflow opportunities
                                                          • Competitive Strategies

                                                            • Explore TikTok’s capabilities
                                                              • Figure 24: Social media platform usage, at least daily, age 18-34, April 2021
                                                            • Highlight favorable cancellation policies
                                                              • Start addressing the post-pandemic reality
                                                                • Figure 25: Expedia “It Matters Who You Travel With” commercial, April 2021
                                                                • Figure 26: Airbnb “Made Possible by Hosts” campaign ad “Forever Young,” February 2021
                                                            • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                              • The inspiration balance has shifted
                                                                • Activities are a go once again
                                                                  • Planners need to own their trips
                                                                    • The destination is most important
                                                                      • Planners want the right options in front of them
                                                                        • Helping planners make good decisions can increase affinity
                                                                        • Vacation Inspiration

                                                                          • Social circles still inspire the most, but social media has a window
                                                                            • Figure 27: Sources of travel inspiration, March 2021
                                                                          • Young planners turn to social, middle aged look more in-depth
                                                                            • Figure 28: Sources of travel inspiration, March 2021
                                                                          • Make FTP portals and review site presence relevant for high-HHI travelers
                                                                            • Figure 29: Sources of travel inspiration, by HHI, March 2021
                                                                        • Research Priorities

                                                                          • Activities rule, but safety will be a lasting concern
                                                                            • Figure 30: Vacation research priorities, March 2021
                                                                          • Demonstrate safety to older planners, accessibility to younger ones
                                                                            • Figure 31: Vacation research priorities, by age group, March 2021
                                                                          • Attracting Black, Hispanic and Asian travelers means addressing safety
                                                                            • Brand spotlight: Airbnb
                                                                              • Figure 32: Vacation research priorities, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2021
                                                                            • High-income travelers inform themselves about the travel basics
                                                                              • Figure 33: Vacation research priorities, by HHI, March 2021
                                                                          • Planning Responsibility

                                                                            • Brands should leave planning to the traveler
                                                                              • Figure 34: Vacation planning responsibility preferences, March 2021
                                                                            • Brands can plan for younger travelers, before they gain experience
                                                                              • Figure 35: Vacation planning responsibility preferences, by age group, March 2021
                                                                            • Professional planners will find a welcome audience in Black travelers
                                                                              • Figure 36: Vacation planning responsibility preferences, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2021
                                                                          • Planning Enjoyment

                                                                            • Focus on the destination
                                                                              • Figure 37: Enjoyable parts of planning, March 2021
                                                                            • Talk pragmatism to older planners, idealism to younger ones
                                                                              • Figure 38: Enjoyable parts of planning, by age and by HHI, March 2021
                                                                            • Brand spotlight: Travel Alberta
                                                                              • Figure 39: Travel Alberta Instagram post, March 2021
                                                                            • Black planners can be reached with a save-spend cycle
                                                                              • Figure 40: Enjoyable parts of planning, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2021
                                                                          • Attitudes toward Online Planning Aides

                                                                            • Young planners need a lighthearted planning approach
                                                                              • Figure 41: Attitudes toward online planning aides, by age group, March 2021
                                                                            • Brand spotlight: Goibibo
                                                                              • Figure 42: Goibibo “goCash Fest” promotion, March 2019
                                                                            • Trackers can be a vehicle for savings
                                                                              • Figure 43: Attitudes toward trip tracking, by race and Hispanic origin, March 2021
                                                                            • Travel trackers give lower earners a sense of accomplishment
                                                                              • Figure 44: Attitudes toward trip tracking, by HHI, March 2021
                                                                          • Attitudes toward Travel Decisions

                                                                            • Conscious travel is part of optimal travel
                                                                              • Figure 45: Attitudes toward travel decisions, March 2021
                                                                            • Green search options can help young planners feel understood
                                                                              • Figure 46: Attitudes toward travel decisions, by age, March 2021
                                                                              • Figure 47: Hertz Green Traveler Collection, May 2021
                                                                            • Make conscious travel options available to everyone
                                                                              • Figure 48: Attitudes toward travel decisions, by HHI, March 2021
                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                            • Data sources
                                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                                • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                  • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                    • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                        • Figure 49: Comfort with travel options, May 2020

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