Holiday Travel Trends

Tires Over Tarmacs

Seven in ten travelers during the holiday season (72 percent) will drive their personal automobile on vacation this holiday season. Two in ten (19 percent) will fly, and one in ten (9 percent) will take a cruise.

HTrends Four in ten (38 percent) American adults intend to take at least one overnight trip between Thanksgiving and New Year’s day according to the quarterly  travelhorizonsTM survey conducted by MMGY Global, the world’s largest integrated travel marketing firm. 

And this holiday travel season is increasingly defined by travelers’ growing use of smartphones and tablets.  Among American leisure travelers vacationing during this period, six in ten (63 percent) will use these devices.  The most popular applications are GPS functions for directions (43 percent) and finding restaurants along the way (36 percent).  One quarter will use these devices to find stores for shopping (26 percent) and post comments, photos, and/or videos on social media (25 percent).  And fully one in ten (11 percent) will track Santa’s journey on Christmas Eve. 

“Travel service suppliers are increasingly dependent on their internet presence to capture demand during the holiday season,” said Steve Cohen, Vice President, Insights, MMGY Global.  “With seven in ten American leisure travelers (72 percent) preferring to drive to their vacation destination during this period, it is essential for hotels, restaurants and attractions to be as digitally accessible as possible to attract this road trip traffic.” Other forthcoming holiday season travel trends include:

  • Tires Over Tarmacs. Seven in ten travelers during the holiday season (72 percent) will drive their personal automobile on vacation this holiday season.  Two in ten (19 percent) will fly, and one in ten (9 percent) will take a cruise.
  • Destination Preferences. While 59 percent of travelers are planning to vacation someplace warm, 41 percent are going someplace cold. Less than two in ten will take a shopping vacation (14 percent) or go to a casino (13 percent).
  • Kids Rule When It Comes To Vacations. A full 60 percent of travelers are planning a trip to visit friends and family over the holidays. However, for the 38 percent of travelers with children, four in ten picked their destination and chose what to activities to do based on their kids’ preferences. And 22 percent are planning to do something special with their children while on the trip. Pets, however, are not as lucky - less than two in 10 (17 percent) travelers intend to include them as part of the holiday entourage!
For more information about these insights, or to order the full travelhorizons™ report, visit http://www.mmgyglobal.com.  

travelhorizons™ is a quarterly survey of Americans’ travel intentions viewed through the lens of emerging economic, social and political developments. This iteration of the nationally representative survey of 2,281 pre-qualified adults was conducted from April 18-28, 2013. Statistical estimates are subject to an error interval of +/- 3 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence.

MMGY Global is the world’s largest and most integrated global marketing firm with more than 35 years of experience in the travel, hospitality and entertainment industries. The award-winning agency maintains a global communications practice in all marketing channels, serving many of the world’s premier travel and tourism brands. MMGY Global is author of acclaimed industry research (including the Portrait of American Travelers) that identifies the habits and preferences of travelers – insights that serve as the foundation for its marketing strategy. For more information, visit www.mmgyglobal.com.





Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.