Travel Trends Revealed at The New York Times Travel Show

February 8, 2019

Did you know that the travel forecast for 2019 is a slowdown? That’s right, fewer people intend to travel this year than the past two years in a row.

Steve Cohen, MMGY’s Senior Vice President of Travel Insights, kicked off The New York Times Travel Show on January 25 with this statistic during the keynote address.

For travel marketers, this isn’t great news. However, it is an opportunity to be even more focused with our outreach and efforts.

Boomers intend to outspend Millennials and Xers on vacations in the next 12 months. But for those looking to the future, the target is the Millennial family market. Yes, the time is now, with this group making up more than 50% of their generation. They are also dropping the most cash when they vacation, spending $39.2 billion overall.

Hawaii is also having a moment, and if the state is not yet capitalizing on this, the tourist board should call us. According to MMGY Global’s 2018–2019 Portrait of American Travelers®, the Hawaiian Neighbor Islands are the number one destination of interest. Honolulu is second, followed by the Florida Keys and Key West; New York City; Washington, D.C.; New Orleans; San Francisco; Boston; San Diego; and Las Vegas.

And what do people want to do while on vacation? Eat, of course. It’s not terribly surprising that most of us follow our stomachs. Authenticity is key here, with 71% wanting to try to local fare.

While looking to get a true taste of the destination, 27% of travelers intend to use sharing-economy accommodations in the next year, with Airbnb at the top of the list. Interestingly, about the same number, just 29%, feel true loyalty toward a hotel brand, and even fewer, 26%, feel the same about an airline. Car rentals are at the bottom with just 16%. Price is the real driver with these service providers.

So what does all this mean? Know your audience and what drives them to get the most out of your marketing spend.