News & Views

What Current Travel Research Study Will Help You Plan for 2022?

Research is pivotal to every strategy we develop at DCI, so we keep our eye on third-party travel research in addition to our own proprietary research. Having a broad view of the data and trends that are out there will help any destination marketer develop more informed, and ultimately more successful strategies.

Perceptions of travelers, travel advisors, meeting planners, and other facets of the industry help destinations craft the right plans moving forward, and ensure that your advertising and digital agencies are on the right track. 

AAA: Find consumer perceptions by state

A leader in domestic travel, the AAA 2021 Q4 Consumer Pulse hashes out travelers’ sentiment, broken down state by state. The report helps destinations understand which Americans are feeling most at ease about traveling in the near future. This data is key to targeting the right consumers at the right time. 

The AAA Travel Study, released earlier this year, offers additional insight, including how Americans are seeing benefits of industry mainstays like travel advisors. See what travelers see on OTAs

A leading OTA, has the resources to dig into its own data to create its Travel Predictions 2022 report, digging into the consumer trends that will guide future decisions. This travel research study is extremely useful to understand what travelers who use OTAs will be seeking in 2022, including perceptions on remote work vacations and wellness travel. So if your paid strategy includes partnerships with OTAs, this travel research study will be helpful to you.

Expedia: Note changes in international search patterns

The Q3 Travel Recovery Report by Expedia Group offers a glimpse into booking patterns, including an uptick in international cities and more demand for business travel. It came out at a pivotal moment as the U.S. reopened to international travel, providing a vivid snapshot of a very specific moment in recovery.

It is an important travel research study to know now in order to interpret the results of the forthcoming Q4 report, which will provide a fresher glimpse into the ever-changing situation.

Leger: Understand perceptions on labor shortages, sustainability, and more

Not every single data point is useful to a destination, but Leger casts a wide net with the latest surveys and reports. A recent report on labor trends underscores that travelers in the U.S. and Canada have both experienced significant shortages of staffing. The data can help destinations think critically about encouraging recruitment where consumers feel most affected by staff shortages, like restaurants and bars.

Another report on sustainability, following the COP26 conference, highlights how North Americans are increasingly concerned about climate change. The report provides data to help guide DMOs to act in more sustainable ways.

While not all surveys are focussed on rebuilding the travel industry, Leger still provides insight that destinations should fold into their action plans.

Longwoods International & VRBO: Explore the impact of child vaccinations on travel

With more than 50 perception reports and counting developed since the onset of the pandemic, Longwoods International keeps its travel research studies updated as the situation changes. It’s 50th COVID-19 Travel Sentiment Study, for example, looks at children to understand how their vaccinations will change the travel industry outlook, and how parents seem split on whether or not to travel. 

Seven out of ten travelers are looking to spend more time with family during their upcoming vacations, but it remains to be seen what that will mean for children unable to be vaccinated.

The 2022 VRBO Trend Report provides useful insight into booking patterns for families and travelers as we look forward to a new year. The vacation rental giant knows firsthand what people are looking for on their platform, and the results are worth noting.

Kids will be calling the shots, family travel will continue to be big, new destinations are up and coming, and 44% of families plan to be working remotely from a vacation home at some point in 2022. Know the trends before your destination misses out on opportunities to ride them through the new year.

Skift: See how mobile booking is impacting consumer behaviors

If you’re not already reading Skift, it’s time to follow this industry leader in destination research. This autumn, their report, Mobile Commerce in Travel: A Global Perspective, offers insight into booking practices among consumers. It explains the potential of mobile booking systems while also underscoring the challenges versus desktop bookings. 

It’s important to continue following research studies that encompass the entire spectrum of the travel experience, to go beyond pandemic perceptions. We’re hoping this cheat sheet prepares you for facing 2022 and beyond.

Looking to create your own research-based strategies? DCI’s research team can help create tailored travel research studies for your needs. Get in touch with Robyn Domber at [email protected] to learn more about how data can help  guide your efforts. 

Written By

Robyn Domber

Robyn is DCI’s Vice President of Research. In this role, she spearheads all of the firm’s primary and secondary research efforts, including surveys, focus groups, data analysis and result compilation. She joined DCI with 15 years of experience in the site selection and economic development consulting field.

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