Get Ready for Budget-Conscious Customers
Travelers likely to spend less on tours, activities when they return
As travelers consider their next international trip – whether that’s as soon as borders open, or after enough people have been vaccinated against COVID-19— many plan to spend less, according to a May 7 Brand USA survey of travelers from 11 countries that are key source markets for the U.S. Brand USA is the destination marketing organization, or DMO, for the U.S.
In most countries, 20% to 30% of those who think they will travel internationally by May 2021 say they will spend less on international trips. As travelers tighten budgets, they are closely scrutinizing spend on tours and activities. German, Mexican, and Canadian travelers all listed that as the most common way they plan to trim trip spend. In fact, tours and activities ranked in the top three areas to cut (from among six options given) for travelers from all 11 countries.
How should operators prepare?
This does not mean they intend to eliminate these in-destination experiences altogether, but they will closely monitor spend. Iconic in-destination activities and attractions are likely to remain on itineraries. Providers of experiences that play a more secondary role may need to create new products and approaches to entice cash-strapped travelers. These businesses also need to prepare for a reality where they capture a relatively smaller share of spend as the first travelers venture out. Clearly communicating plans to ensure social distancing and overall sanitation and health are paramount for activities and attractions of every stripe.
Other often-selected areas travelers say they intend to spend less were on food and dining and trip duration. Perhaps reassuringly, relatively few travelers said they would save by visiting closer destinations. After a prolonged period of not being able to go overseas, travelers are still hoping they will not have to compromise on visiting destinations they have been dreaming about, even ones that are far from home.
Brand USA’s full COVID-19 Research update can be downloaded here.