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Study show leisure travel moving more upscale

Breakfast with woman in background.

After years of “staycations” and budget-focused travel, a new survey by MMGY Global/Harrison Group suggests many Americans are turning towards more upscale travel options. The annual travel study surveyed 2,527 U.S. households with an annual household income of $50,000 or more and at least one overnight trip of 75 miles during the previous 12 months.

About 26 percent of these vacationers reported that they prefer luxury lodgings, versus just 15 percent in 2011. This significant jump shows travelers are looking for value and not just savings. Eighty percent of respondents also now opt for a full-service hotel or resort with a restaurant, compared to 75 percent in 2010.

In contrast to the recession years when searching for deals was ranked number one in importance, today’s leisure travelers choose the destination (34 percent) and the type of trip (33 percent) as more influential than setting a budget (18 percent) and searching for deals (eight percent). This shows that the goals of travelers have shifted, since they now put their travel desires before looking for great savings.

The number of overnight leisure trips taken over the past year has remained virtually unchanged since 2011, though the types of trips have evolved. Nine out of 10 travelers chose “value of the price” as the most influential factor when choosing lodging. This result increased, while the influence of “room rates” declined in importance. This suggests travelers see a difference between price and value in lodging choices, as well as in destinations.

For more information on the survey, read the World Property Channel article.