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Friday, February 9, 2018

Visa explores macro trends shaping global travel

A comprehensive look at travel and tourism in 2017 revealed motivations and planning tactics of global travelers. Visa Inc., in partnership with ORC International Inc., conducted the biannual Global Travel Intentions Study, gleaning data collected from interviews with global travelers in 27 markets. A number of macro trends emerged in the latest research findings.

Among the macro trends identified, trips are getting shorter, averaging eight nights per trip versus 10 nights in 2013. More trips abroad are being planned, 2.7 trips in the next two years, up from an average of 2.5 trips over the past two years. Multi-destination trips to multiple countries are a popular choice for 11 percent of travelers interviewed. Japan, the United States and Australia topped the list of planned future destinations.

Another developing macro trend is increased usage of technology for planning trips and for navigation after arrival. The study found that 83 percent of travelers used technology to plan trips in 2017, compared with 78 percent in 2015. Once abroad, 88 percent of travelers gained online access, 61 percent used travel apps and 44 percent relied on ride-sharing apps upon reaching destinations.

"We are excited to see the desire for global travel grow as technology becomes integral in every stage of the travelers' journey," said Lynne Biggar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Visa.

Big spenders, cash remains king

Among the 27 markets analyzed, Saudi Arabians topped the list on travel spend, followed by the Chinese, Australians, Americans and Kuwaitis. In terms of average median spending, Saudi Arabians spent $5,333 per most recent international trip compared with $1,793 overall. The study also noted that Saudi Arabia leads the world in number of national holidays, celebrating 14 days; Australia placed second at 13.

In addition, researchers found that while many travelers used credit cards abroad, 77 percent still prefer to use cash to make purchases. Even though loss of cash or theft was a top concern noted by many, a significant amount of cash made the journey. The global median cash amount carried reached $7,781 per trip in 2017; 72 percent prepared in advance to carry foreign currencies. Only one in 10 travelers used ATMs abroad, citing security concerns.

Of interest to businesses impacted by tourism, the intended spend for leisure travel on the next trip abroad is expected to average $2,443 for international travelers, up 36.25 percent from previous trips abroad. Leading the way will be travel to the Asia-Pacific region, followed by North and South America, and Europe, as the top three destinations. Key determinants in travel destination selection cited were culture/heritage and scenery.

For more information about the Visa Global Travel Intentions Study, visit visa.com/travelstudy . end of article

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