New Consumer Survey Reveals Shifting Priorities for Holiday Travelers

New Consumer Survey Reveals Shifting Priorities for Holiday Travelers

Image Caption: Photo Credit: Ziga Plahutar/Getty

A new study conducted by a marketing firm called Zeta Global is shedding new light on the thoughts of travelers heading into the busy holiday season. Unsurprisingly, many of the individuals that took part in the survey expressed ongoing concerns over hitting the road during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, although there is a sense of optimism for a return to normalcy in 2022.

Approximately 1000 people from across the US took part in the Zeta Pulse consumer sentiment survey. Participants were asked about their current thoughts regarding travel heading into the second consecutive holiday season under the COVID virus. The study revealed that thanks to vaccines and booster shots, confidence amongst the general public is growing. As a result, the travel industry continues to rebound, steadily edging closer to pre-pandemic numbers.

Still, 53.6% of particpants in the survey indicated that they planned to stay closer to home during the holidays this year, with just 30% willing to travel longer distances to visit friends and family. Those who are most likely to travel fall into the 18-29 year old age group, with women between the ages of 18-29 and 40-60+ the least likely, citing COVID-19 safety as main reason for staying home.

Other findings of note include that, for the second year in a row, the preferred method of travel is by car (37.14%), followed by flying, (25.71%), cruise ship (17.14%), bus (11.43%), and train (8.57%). 48% of respondents also indicated that they planned to stay in a hotel, while 24.49% indicated that they would stay with friends or family. Interestingly, 18.37% of travelers expect to camp or stay at an RV site, significantly higher than the 8.16% who will book an AirBnb or VRBO rental.

Photo Credit: Cavan Images/Getty

During the pandemic, there has been a significant rise in pet ownership, with 70% of households now including an animal of some kind. This impacted the survey as well, with more travelers using the keywords “pet friendly” when searching for accommodations. On the other hand, keywords like “safe” and “clean” were less common as compared to 2020.

Some of the key takeaways from the Zeta Pulse survey is that consumers are rapidly regaining confidence when it comes to traveling, although most still prefer to trave by motor vehicle and stay somewhat close to home. This helps to explain the continued growth in popularity of RV camping, which has seen a dramatic increase during the pandemic.


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