As 2019 draws to a close and we all look ahead to another new year, Allstar Coaches is gazing into its crystal ball to find the best predictions about travel in 2020. We’re also searching for information on a few of the hottest new travel trends.
What we found reveals an industry anchored by older travelers, while being reenergized by a younger generation of travelers searching for the experiences that will drive long-term memories. Moreover, despite lingering economic concerns, the travel industry looks to be in store for another healthy year.
Concerns Over a Potential “Travel Recession” Persist
In April 2019, the travel and tourism marketing agency MMGY sounded the alarm bells for an impending travel recession. A few key statistics supported these concerns.
- MMGY’s Global Traveler Sentiment Index saw declines for eight-straight quarters, which suggests American’s leisure travel plans are softening.
- Price sensitivity is also growing. 34% of travelers now cite travel costs as the number-one concern — versus only 18% in 2016.
These softening travel numbers could reflect concerns about the broader economy. Many experts believe we’re due for a near-term economic recession, though the exact timing is unknown.
- Bloomberg places the chance of a recession in the next 12 months at 26%.
- However, members of the National Association of Business Economics place the odds of an early 2021 recession at 69%.
Despite These Concerns, Travel Spending will Remain the Same
These long-term economic concerns don’t appear to have impacted travel spending habits just yet. In their 2019-2020 Portrait of American Travelers study, MMGY found that America’s travel spending will increase slightly in the near-term.
- Travelers reported spending $5,025 in 2019, which is even with 2018. Travelers also anticipate spending 17% more on travel than they did in 2018.
Road Trips are a Growing Trend
Millennials are literally driving one new travel trend, however, as the great American road trip comes back in vogue.
- Since 2015, the MMGY Portrait of American Travelers study has tracked a 64% increase in road trip travel.
- 51% of all travelers took at least one road trip in 2018, up five points from the previous year, and 60% of travelers said they were likely to take a road trip this year.
- 62% of millennials intend to make one or more road trips in the next 12 months.
The Concept of Hybrid Vacations are Growing Among Younger Travelers.
Millennial families are now adding road trips to their air travel vacations because they enjoy the flexibility of using a car.
- 57% of millennial families are taking road trips that begin from another city, compared to 41% of singles and 28% of couples.
These so-called “wings and wheels” vacations evoke a sense of nostalgia for millennial families who want to create cherished vacation memories.
Everything Old is New Again
Not only are millennials busy creating new travel trends, but they’re also returning to a few vacation staples that have gone out of style with older travelers. For example, while the use of travel agents is still down in total, millennials are more likely to use travel advisors than any other group.
- MMGY’s travel study shows that 16% of respondents had used a traditional travel agent in the last 12 months. This was up from 14% in 2018 and down from a peak of 19% in 2016.
- 24% of millennials, however, reported that they plan to use an agent for at least one vacation during the next two years.
- That compares to 16% of Baby Boomers and 15% of Gen Xers, who reported plans to use a travel agent.
MMGY believes that the millennial generation’s focus on experiential travel drives this new trend because they think agents can deliver the best travel experience possible.
Millennials are also more likely to buy travel insurance than other generations.
- In a recent study, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection found that 23% of travelers said they are going to purchase travel insurance more often in 2020 than they did in 2019. This finding represents a substantial increase over last year’s reports, which only showed a 14% year-over-year increase.
- Those numbers increase dramatically when looking at younger travelers. The survey found that 71% of millennials said they plan to buy more travel insurance in 2020.
Social Media Drives Travel Behaviors!
Travelers also report that social media will influence where they travel and what they do during their vacations.
- In its 2020 travel predictions report, global travel company Amadeus found that Instagram heavily influences behavior among younger travelers. They report that 40% of Instagram users under 33 said that Instagrammability was one of their top factors when selecting a vacation destination.
Many travelers also plan on engaging in risky behavior during their vacation to gain social media credibility.
According to the Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection report, 69% of respondents said they plan on doing something dangerous so they can post it to social media.
Allstar Coaches Can Make Your 2020 Travel Dreams Come True
What are your 2020 travel plans? If you’re one of the 51% of American who took a road trip last year, will you be doing so again in the new year? If so, you should consider taking an RV vacation. Traveling in a luxury motorhome is a great way to experience all the beauty this country has to offer without sacrificing the comforts of home.
If you’re one of the 57% of millennial travelers planning to take a “wings and wheels” vacation, try flying into Florida and renting one of our luxury RVs for a trip to Disney World or to see one of Florida’s famous race events like the Daytona 500. No matter how you vacation, a luxury motorhome will only enhance your experience. Contact us today to make your reservation or to request a quote for a once-in-a-lifetime experience you’ll remember forever.