Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) today announced findings of its inaugural U.S. Summer Travel Trends Report 2017 based an analysis of nearly 2 million Marriott.com searches and bookings in April and May for travel between the Memorial Day and Labor Day holiday weekends.
"This summer, travelers are looking beyond typical beach-centric destinations and considering places like Orlando, New York, Chicagoand New Orleans to explore with their families and friends," said Brian King, Global Officer, Digital, Distribution & Global Sales, Marriott International. "They're also more eager this year than last year to bring their pets, stay a little longer and seek out good value."
Marriott, which operates more than 6,000 hotels in more than 120 countries, analyzed multiple Marriott-owned data sources including Marriott.com, in addition to surveying more than 2,000 consumers with a proprietary study on their summer travel hacks.
When it comes to kicking off the summer over Memorial DayWeekend, Marriott's customers are split on whether to seek family fun or city escapes, according to Marriott data. The Top 5 most-searched destinations for Memorial Day:
- New York
- Washington D.C.
- San Diego
Top Picks for Independence Day
When it comes to deciding where to watch the Fourth of Julyfireworks, some of Marriott's customers who booked hotels in April had already made up their minds. Hotels in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans, for instance, saw their share of bookings soar 26% and 27%, respectively, compared to other summer weekends.
The Top 5 most-searched destinations for Independence Day reflect a desire to celebrate in vibrant cities:
- New Orleans
- New York
- San Diego
In addition to great All-American summer escapes in the 50 states, Marriott's report also reveals significant growth outside U.S. borders on holiday weekends compared to other summer weekends. For both Memorial Day weekend and the July 4th weekend, travelers are showing interest in going to the Caribbean and Latin America, with bookings in hotels in Aruba, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islandsseeing especially pronounced increases compared to other summer weekends.
Vacationers Plan Longer Holiday Trips
Marriott sees summer holiday trips growing longer than last year. With July 4th falling on a Tuesday this year, Marriott's bookings for five-day stays are soaring 67% over the 2016 holiday, when the nation's birthday fell on a Monday.
More than a third of customers are booking three-to-five day stays for the Memorial Day and July 4th holidays, according to Marriott's report. This represents an approximately 70% increase in longer-than-average stays compared to non-holiday summer weekends.
Demand for Packages Swells
Another trend revealed in Marriott's trend report is strong, continued interest in seeking out summer package deals that include items such as breakfast, parking or Wi-Fi, according to Marriott's Summer Travel Trend Report 2017. Consumers booked package rates about 7% more often for their holiday weekend vacations than their non-holiday trips.
"We're seeing packages grow because people are opting for once-and-done vacations, where they can get on with enjoying rather than budgeting," King said. "Who doesn't like a little extra value for their summer holidays? For some families, that can mean having the freedom to buy more frozen custard, roller-coaster rides and mini-golf games."
Consumers Want to Bring Fido or Whiskers on Vacation
Regardless of their destination or length of stay, Marriott's customers appear eager to bring pets with them on vacation, Marriott's analysis shows. Marriott observed a 70% increase in searches for pet-friendly hotels during this summer's holiday weekends versus non-holiday summer weekends. The timing of this summer's holiday weekends and greater tendency to extend stays help explain the spike in pet accommodation requests.
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