TTC Tour Brands, the brands that comprise tour operators like Trafalgar, Luxury Gold, Insight Vacations and more, have published its first annual study featuring insight on the latest tour trends, called the ‘Big Tour Study.’
The study surveyed over 7,000 Americans with an average household income of $150,000. Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed were over fifty-five years of age; 67 percent were female; and 56 percent were retired.
“We strive to create the most knowledgeable and resourceful advisor community in the industry and continue to identify ways to better support our partners in their business,” said Guy Young, Chief Engagement Officer of TTC Tour Brands. “This comprehensive annual study will continuously demonstrate what the thousands of TTC tour travelers seek in their travel experience and serve as an asset for advisors, arming them with the insights they need to make the sale.”
The top five takeaways from the Big Tour Study include experiencing hidden gems as well as bucket-list attractions; tours provide assurance while traveling internationally; desire to visit places a traveler hasn’t yet visited is at a high; travelers crave connection with other travelers; and some insights into the travel trends of working professionals.
Hidden Gems in Travel
While travel has long been about visiting landmark attractions (think the Eiffel Tower in Paris), the Big Tour Study has found that its travelers are equally as interested in off-the-beaten path experiences that only a guided tour can provide.
Both bucket-list and off-the-beaten path experiences had the same demand, with 87 percent of respondents choosing both as their motivator for going on guided tours as opposed to traditional non-guided trips.
Tours Provide More Assurance
Eighty percent of respondents replied that TTC Tour Brands offers organization, logistics and assurance in-destination. In fact, a lot of people, especially women solo travelers, will choose a tour over a traditional vacation because tours provide a greater sense of safety, especially for international travel. Tours also take care of the logistics, such as transiting from one destination or attraction to another, creating a greater sense of ease and less stress in the planning process.
Travelers Want to Discover New Destinations for Themselves
Seventy percent of respondents believe that experiencing new cultures is a big part of why they book a tour, while 67 percent want to visit a country they’ve never visited before. This demand for new, international and culturally different travel experiences has been on the rise since the COVID-19 pandemic and doesn’t seem to be slowing down, despite sometimes hefty price tags for air travel and other travel expenses.
Travelers on Tours Crave Connection
Almost half of those surveyed said that being able to easily connect with other travelers is a major reason why they choose a tour over a traditional vacation. Especially true for solo travelers, this can also apply to travelers who are more extroverted.
Working Professionals Dream of Europe
Among working professionals, the desire to travel to Europe is high (at 83 percent). Top destinations in Europe include Italy, England and Ireland, while the average tour length for working professionals remains shorter, around 8-14 days, which is aligned with the nation’s paid time off policies.
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