Global economy not dampening plans for travels and vacations


SHELTON, Connecticut – More than 60 percent of consumers around the world are planning to spend as much or more on their vacations this year as they did on their last getaways, according to new research with Survey Sampling International’s (SSI) global online panels. “Despite economic concerns, the chance to get away remains important for consumers around the globe, and they are finding ways to fit vacations into their budgets,” said Mark Hardy, chief strategy officer/managing director, Americas for SSI.

The Chinese and Singaporeans are most likely to be increasing their vacation budgets, with almost half of respondents in those countries anticipating spending more on their upcoming vacations. In addition, about a third of New Zealanders and Australians are investing more this year in their vacation plans. In contrast, just 10 percent of American and Japanese consumers, 11 percent of French consumers, and 12 percent of German consumers plan to boost their vacation spend.

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Although there appears to be widespread optimism around vacation planning, there are many consumers who are actively cutting their vacation budgets. Almost a third of French respondents and a quarter of UK and South Korean participants say that they will spend less on their next vacations than their last. Japan (23 percent), the US (22 percent), and Germany (20 percent) also have many consumers looking to spend less on their upcoming trips than in the past.

Mark Hardy of SSI said: “Our research shows that more than three-quarters of our respondents plan to stay overnight at destinations for their vacations, rather than staying home. When we take money out of the equation, almost 90 percent say they’d prefer traveling to staying home. Clearly, people worldwide share the need for a change of scenery and an escape from their daily routines – even when money is tight.”

Consumers in Asia-Pacific seem to be particularly likely to travel during their vacations, with about 90 percent of Chinese and Singaporeans and 85 percent of Australians, South Koreans, and New Zealanders planning overnight trips. The Japanese seem to be the anomaly, with just 41 percent planning to leave home for vacations. In Europe, the British (79 percent) and French (74 percent) are most likely to travel on their holidays. Almost 70 percent of American consumers also are planning to leave home for vacation.

SSI’s findings are based on a study of 5,000+ adults on its online panels planning to take vacations longer than four days. Countries covered include the US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, China, South Korea, New Zealand, and Singapore. SSI offers extensive worldwide reach to support survey research through SSI Dynamix(TM), its dynamic sampling platform that links to its own online panels, as well as web sites, social media, affiliate partnerships, and more.

While respondents like to travel, more than half plan to do it within their own countries. American and Japanese consumers are most likely to stay within their own borders, with 82 percent of respondents in each country saying they are more likely to travel domestically. A high percentage of South Korean (80 percent), French (68 percent) and Australian (62 percent) consumers also plan to travel in their own countries. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the majority of Singaporeans (90 percent), Germans (60 percent), British (58 percent), and Chinese (53 percent) are looking forward to international trips.

Whatever type of vacations consumers plan to take, the adjectives they use most often to describe their ideal getaways are relaxing (48 percent), memorable (39 percent), restful (29 percent), fun (27 percent), entertaining (24 percent) and interesting (23 percent). Conversely, quiet (12 percent), adventurous (11 percent), long (8 percent) and productive (4 percent) are not popular choices for describing the perfect vacation.

Those most likely to skip vacations or take vacation that are not longer than 4 days are Americans (37 percent) and Japanese (33 percent). About a quarter of Germans also do not get away for at least four days at a time. The Chinese are least likely to miss out on taking time off, with just 7 percent saying they don’t take vacations at least four days long.