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Travel sector set for growth says survey

Dubai, April 9, 2009

More business leaders are likely travel over the next 12 months than in the past year, according to an online consumer survey (OCS) conducted by CNN.

The OCS Travel and Tourism revealed that times are tough, but the recession has not reduced people’s desire to travel.

About 40 per cent of respondents said their leisure plans have not been affected by the recession. Most people who fall into this category are senior managers, high income earners and Europeans.

Online Consumer Surveys (OCS) are a series of global studies conducted by CNN to better understand the perception and purchasing behaviour of CNN brand users towards a particular market category.

“What’s interesting about these results is that they suggest that the Travel and Tourism industry is one of the most resilient sectors in terms of the economic downturn,” commented Didier Mormesse, senior vice president ad sales research and audience insight, CNN International.

“Although there is some trepidation about how respondents might finance their travel over the next 12 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, it’s not just about price – brand experience matters, as does diversity in what a destination has to offer.”

The survey indicated that more people would travel for holiday over the next 12 months than last year, but they would do fewer trips. The percentage of respondents who intend to make only 1-2 leisure trips per year rose from 40 per cent to 54 per cent

As many as 40 per cent of respondents are adjusting to financial pressures by reducing their trips (19 per cent), changing destinations (12 per cent) or a combination of both (9 per cent). These people tend to have families, be lower income earners or from North America or Asia.

The survey also found that the economic downturn is not affecting everyone’s travel plans. Average spend per holiday amongst survey respondents was £2582 ($3,795).

It said 71 per cent of the 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.

As many as 76 per cent of respondents spent more than £682 on their last holiday.

The survey showed that respondents are not likely to compromise their experience. They are more likely to do fewer trips than look for cheaper hotels or discounted flights with budget airlines.

It also said 67 per cent of business travelers enjoy visiting tourist attractions while traveling for work, if they consider the destination interesting enough.

Brand reputation ranked ahead of quality of service, flight schedule, route and air miles gained while choosing an airline, it said.

About 40 per cent of those who travel for work fly business or first class, make an average of five business trips per year and are away for an average of 19 days per year, the survey said.

Rani R Raad, senior vice president 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 results are from analysis conducted across all CNN English websites and include a sample size of 5,353 respondents from all around the world. The fieldwork was conducted during November and December 2008, CNN said. –TradeArabia  News Service




Tags: cnn | travel |

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