CNN International has announces the results of its Online Consumer Survey (OCS) on Travel and Tourism which reveals that although times are tough, the recession hasn’t reduced people’s desire to travel. On the contrary – people are trading down, not trading out – but not compromising their experience. In addition, more business leaders are likely to travel over the next 12 months than in the past year.
“What’s interesting about these results is that they point to a strong degree of resilience for the travel and tourism sector in the face of the global economic downturn” commented Duncan Morris, Vice President, Research, Turner International Asia Pacific. “Although there is some trepidation about how respondents might finance their travel over the next twelve months, respondents have no intention of stopping altogether and in fact, half of the business elite won’t change their plans at all. And importantly, its not just about price – brand experience matters, as does diversity in what a destination has to offer.”
Overall the survey indicated that more people would travel for holiday over the next 12 months than last year, but 1 in 5 would make fewer trips . 46% of business travelers in Asia Pacific claim the economic environment has had no impact on their business travel plans. 79% of Asia-Pac respondents feel they are likely to take a vacation in the region within the next 12 months. And the economic downturn isn’t affecting everyone’s travel plans. – Asia-Pacific holidaymakers spent an average of just over US$4,000 on their last vacation, – ahead of the global average of $3,700.
71% of CNN’s audience of global travellers fly long-haul for leisure. Respondents take an average of 14 days vacation a year and holiday an average of three times a year.Brand image and reputation also remains a critical factor for air travel, and survey respondents clearly feel that preferred, trusted airlines are able to command a premium. Respondents are also more likely to do fewer trips than look for cheaper hotels or discounted flights with budget airlines.
58% of Asia Pacific respondents are ‘willing to pay more to travel with my preferred airline’ (vs. 50% globally and just 41% of N.American respondents). 61% of these Asia Pacific air travelers ‘prefer to fly with a trusted brand regardless of cost’ .
William Hsu, VP Advertising Sales, CNN International added “These results send a strong message to tourism boards that smart destination branding is critical for country differentiation and return on investment.”
The survey comes as the latest PAX research for the full year 2008 once again reconfirms CNN as the leading channel in its genre for reaching each of the 3 main PAX groups: Affluent Adults, Business Decision Makers and Top Management. Among the Top Management group CNN is the leading international channel regardless of genre, while CNN.com continues to generate substantially higher reach than all other measured media sites.