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U.S. Affluent Traveler Trends 2019: Annual Survey on Travel Behavior

by Meghan Carty + Skift Team - Apr 2019
Destinations
Millennials
Social Media
Tourism

Skift Research Take

The spending power of U.S. Affluent Travelers makes them an attractive target market. In the third iteration of this report, we look at how their attitudes, behaviors, and values have changed or stayed the same over time, and how they vary based on income level, age, and whether or not they have children.

Report Overview

Skift Research presents the third edition of our U.S. Affluent Traveler Survey. We began fielding this survey in 2017 (when it was called the U.S. High-Income Traveler Survey) in an effort to understand this lucrative, yet complex, group. We’ve decided to run this survey every year in an effort to capture how this group is changing over time or remaining the same to help the travel industry stay on top of the current trends.

In this year’s report, we begin by highlighting some key findings from the 2019 survey as this year’s major trends. We then look at trends over time by comparing our latest data to that of 2018 and 2017, where relevant (the 2017 version was a briefer survey, so data is slightly limited). We then devote the remainder of the report to analyzing the data by certain characteristics of the respondents to provide a nuanced view of the variations within this complex group. We begin this analysis by dividing respondents into three income groups to understand how the Super Affluent stand out in their travel behavior and preferences. We then look at the differences between Affluent Travelers with and without children in the household. Finally, we examine variations between Affluent Travelers of different age groups. Through these analyses, we provide an in-depth look at the particularities of this desirable traveler market.

Survey Methodology:

Skift Research’s U.S. Affluent Traveler Survey 2019 collected responses from 1,300 respondents who live in the U.S. To qualify, respondents had to indicate that they have combined household incomes of at least $100,000 and that they had taken at least one leisure trip in the last 12 months. For this project, a leisure trip is defined as at least two-nights’ stay, 200 miles or more away from home. Respondents also met quotas for gender, age, and income based on the sample of U.S. travelers represented in the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 Consumer Expenditure Survey. The survey was fielded by a trusted third-party consumer panel provider.

In the report, we compare 2019 results to 2018 results. You can see the methodology for that survey here. Results from 2017 are also included for comparison where relevant. Learn more about that survey here.

What You'll Learn From This Report

  • Trip incidence for U.S. Affluent Travelers
  • Attitudinal and behavioral data that indicate how U.S. Affluent Travelers prioritize experiences while traveling
  • The primary resources and preferences for trip planning and destination selection for U.S. Affluent Travelers
  • Booking preferences for accommodations and air travel
  • Traditional travel agent usage
  • Accommodation preferences, including alternative accommodation use and how it’s grown over time
  • How the travel behaviors and preferences of the “Super Affluent” (those with combined household incomes over $200,000) differ from their less affluent peers
  • Key differences between those with and without children under 18 in the household
  • Key differences by age group

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