Internet Travel Monitor - Travel Industry News

December 20, 2017

American Express Travel Reveals Emerging Trends and Top Ten Destinations for 2018

Travel Trends Signal Interests in Cultural Discovery, Camaraderie, Premium Amenities, Wellness and More


SHARE: LinkedIn Facebook Google+ Tweet Email

According to a new survey conducted for American Express Travel, travelers in the United States are focused on pursuing their personal passions through the lens of travel.

“For 2018, we see U.S. travelers expanding personal and global boundaries when they travel. We noted an increased interest in cultural discovery, personal connections, inspiring destinations, and premium, rejuvenating travel experiences,” says Tom Stein, VP of American Express Travel.

INTERNATIONAL INTEREST: DISCOVERY OF FOREIGN CULTURES & HISTORY

American Express Travel’s international bookings for travel in the first quarter of 2018 are up 44 percent, and the survey corroborates this interest in international destinations. 25 percent of those surveyed cite learning about history, art and culture across the globe as their most important travel goal for 2018.

  • 72 percent say that they enjoy learning about different cultures
  • 15 percent have traveled in the last year to experience new languages, customs and 20 percent (a 5 percent increase) plan to do the same in 2018

BLENDING IN: FINDING EXCITEMENT THROUGH IMMERSION

  • Over half (57 percent) of those surveyed have set ‘exploring a new destination that they’ve never seen before’ as their most important travel goal for 2018
  • Nearly half (43 percent) cite finding a local culinary spot in a hip neighborhood as the most exciting dining experience while traveling
  • 52 percent enjoy getting lost and spontaneously discovering hidden restaurants, shops and bakeries to create their own memories
  • 49 percent prefer trips with adventure and excitement

PREMIUM STATE OF MIND: SEEKING AN ELEVATED EXPERIENCE

56 percent of those surveyed are willing to pay more to get better service and 53 percent like to be pampered while traveling. Additionally, luxury travelers are increasingly booking premium seating with 68 percent of those surveyed planning to fly first or business class in 2018. More than half (56 percent) view a refreshed, luxurious premium airplane as the most desired perk when traveling by air.

  • 51 percent view an airline seat upgrade as the most desired surprise and delight when booking air travel
  • 24 percent plan to use an airport lounge in the next year
  • 41 percent view room upgrades as the most desired surprise and delight when booking a hotel

CAMARADERIE: CONNECTING WITH THOSE WHO MATTER

While solo travel still has its place, more than half (53 percent) of those surveyed prefer a social travel experience including likeminded travelers. Who you are traveling with (25 percent) is more important than where you are going (17 percent), according to the survey findings.

  • 57 percent of those surveyed seek to interact with locals when traveling
  • 57 percent want to stay with a local while traveling
  • 21 percent say that the most desired surprise and delight while on vacation is a unique activity planned by a local expert

LET’S REJUVENATE: FOCUS ON TOTAL PERSONAL WELLNESS

Nearly half (49 percent) of those surveyed view travel as ‘energizing,’ with nearly as many (48 percent) planning to travel over the next year to escape, recharge and reconnect with themselves.

  • 22 percent say that the most important travel goal for 2018 is to disconnect from technology, work and everyday life
  • 50 percent view on-site spa services, restaurants, nightclubs and pool as the most desired hotel feature
  • 61 percent say they feel like 'there's never enough time to do what they want to do'

AMERICAN EXPRESS TRAVEL TOP TEN DESTINATIONS FOR 2018

Based on American Express Travel proprietary booking data, the top ten travel destinations for the upcoming year include:

  • Bali
  • Costa Rica: San Jose and Liberia regions
  • Dubai
  • London
  • Portugal: Lisbon and Porto regions
  • Rome
  • Tel Aviv
  • “Utah-lorado”: Park City, Salt Lake City, Aspen, Denver, and Vail
  • Vietnam: Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City regions
  • Zurich


Copyright 2017 American Express Travel. All rights reserved. From https://www.businesswire.com.
To view the Internet Travel Monitor Archive, click https://www.tripinfo.com/ITM/index.html.