Spending more, booking earlier, lost luggage fears and delayed revenge travel

Sabre Corporation has revealed its latest global travel study in which it uncovers a significant shift in travel behaviours and preferences for 2024.

The data-driven narrative reveals how travellers are navigating the ever-evolving landscape of global travel.

The study indicates a newfound confidence among travellers, with leisure travellers planning their trips much earlier than in previous years.

Now, they are booking their flights at least three months in advance, marking a clear departure from past tendencies. Interestingly, this trend diverges from business travel, where most bookings are still made between two to four weeks before the trip.

Financially, there’s a cautious optimism among travellers. Nearly 90% of those surveyed anticipate spending a similar amount on travel as they did in 2023, but a significant 40.7% expect to increase their travel budgets, particularly among Generation Z travellers.

This reflects a growing enthusiasm for travel in the post-pandemic world, coupled with a desire for richer experiences.

The study also reveals a predominant preference for couple travel in 2024, likely driven by a desire for more personalized and intimate travel experiences. This trend, however, varies across regions.

In Europe and the Middle East, traveling with children under 12 years is notably more popular compared to other parts of the world.

Sustainability emerges as a priority, with all respondents expressing willingness to pay up to 5% more for sustainable travel options. Furthermore, a significant portion is even ready to pay up to 15% extra to offset their carbon footprint.

This reflects a growing consciousness about environmental impact among travellers. In terms of amenities and services, the priorities of leisure and business travellers continue to diverge.

Business travellers are prioritising efficiency and minimalism, often opting for lighter travel without checked baggage.

In contrast, leisure travellers place greater emphasis on in-flight meals and comfort, with seat selection being a common priority among both groups.

The study also highlights that leisure travellers tend to invest more in travel accessories compared to their business counterparts, who primarily focus on seat selection.

Generation Z’s main concern is the risk of luggage loss or theft, a sentiment likely influenced by post-pandemic incident rates and a heightened awareness of these issues.

These evolving trends pose challenges for the travel industry, particularly in managing content fragmentation to better serve customer needs.

This dispersion of information can lead to outdated and confusing travel offers, potentially impacting customer experiences and the economic landscape of the travel sector.

Richard Addey, senior regional director – Western Europe and Africa of Sabre Travel Solutions, said: “By harnessing Sabre’s Global Data Services, travel agencies and hotels can tap into these trends and adapt their offerings accordingly.

“This strategic approach is essential for keeping pace with the dynamic preferences of today’s traveller and ensuring that the travel industry remains responsive to market demands”.

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