October 27, 2011

Ypartnership study reveals credibility gap among leisure travelers


In today's evolving search for trusted sources of information about destinations and travel service suppliers, there are clear differences in credibility ascribed by the different generational groups.

It's common knowledge that younger members of our society consume media differently than their older counterparts. Message credibility also varies by medium across each of the major generational clusters, however, as revealed in the Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2011 Portrait of American Travelers(SM). This is particularly true when it comes to the use of online information sources.

When considering vacation destinations, input from family and friends still holds the most weight among all consumer groups, regardless of age. Approximately four out of five American travelers have the highest degree of confidence in personal recommendations.

Millennials (18-32 years of age), however, are more likely than their older counterparts to have confidence in the information they obtain from online sources such as blogs (54 percent), destination websites (53 percent) or things they have seen on YouTube or other online video sharing communities (35 percent).

Interestingly, Xers (33-46 years of age) are more likely than Millennials or Boomers (47-65 years of age) to trust information on the website of an online travel agency (63 percent) such as Expedia or Travelocity. They are also more likely than Boomers and/or Matures (66+ years of age) to have confidence in destination and lodging reviews on a blog (46 percent), information found on a company's or destination's website (53 percent), information in travel brochures (47 percent), articles in newspapers, magazines, programs on TV and radio (48 percent) or things they have seen on YouTube or other online video sharing community sites (29 percent).

Boomers are more likely than Matures to have confidence in reviews on blogs (32 percent) or information found in travel advertising (26 percent). They are less likely than their younger counterparts to have confidence in reviews on online advisory sites such as TripAdvisor (51 percent), however, or things they have read or seen on a social media sites such as facebook or Twitter (18 percent).

Not surprisingly, Matures are less likely than their younger counterparts to have confidence in online sources such as reviews or information appearing on an online travel agency website (43 percent) or online advisory site (35 percent). They are also less likely to have confidence in information found in travel brochures (34 percent) or travel advertising (19 percent). Compared to leisure travelers in the other generational cohorts, Matures are more likely to have confidence in the recommendations of a travel agent (51 percent).

The Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2011 Portrait of American TravelersSM is a national survey of 2,539 U.S. households that was conducted in February 2011. The nationally representative results provide an in-depth examination of the impact of the current economic environment, social values and media habits on the travel habits of Americans with an annual household income of $50,000 or more.

Related Link: Ypartnership