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Key 2023 holiday travel trends revealed in new iSeatz report

iSeatz

Latest survey data reveals a stronger holiday travel season and identifies opportunities for loyalty programs to engage travelers

NEW ORLEANS – iSeatz, a leading provider of travel loyalty technology solutions, has released its latest survey report that examines American consumers’ priorities for holiday travel in 2023 and how loyalty programs can leverage opportunities to engage travelers during the upcoming season.

The report, The Tipping Point for Travel Loyalty: 2023 Holiday Travel Trends, aims to answer many of the questions travel brands and forecasters have heading into the crucial revenue-generating months of November and December, including whether higher prices and ongoing cost of living challenges will prompt consumers to moderate their 2023 holiday plans.

The report is based on a survey conducted by iSeatz in August 2023, which polled over 2,000 consumers in the United States belonging to a loyalty program that incorporates travel-related rewards and 151 loyalty program professionals across industries.

Among the report’s key findings is the fact that travel loyalty programs are well-positioned to provide the reward and redemption options that make holiday travel more attainable for members while capitalizing on the heightened interest in travel that the season usually brings, but many don’t consistently deliver the value they promise. This creates opportunities for those loyalty programs that can.

The findings reveal that travel loyalty programs have a prime opportunity to offer reward and redemption options that make holiday travel more accessible for members. The seasonal surge in travel interest amplifies this potential. However, many programs fall short of consistently delivering the value they promise, paving the way for other loyalty programs that can.

“Holidays are a crucial time for travel operators and loyalty programs alike, which is why understanding travelers’ considerations and decision-making processes – and identifying the opportunities those can create – is so important,” says Kenneth Purcell, CEO of iSeatz. “Our report provides that valuable insight and shows a pathway for travel loyalty programs to optimize the holiday season.”

2023 Consumer Insights: Unpacking Holiday Travel Trends

The survey uncovers a US traveler demographic keen to journey but still way of high prices. It also reveals their appetite for more deals and value. Key insights from the report include:

  • Consumers plan to travel more this holiday season than in 2022: While just 40% of U.S. adults surveyed traveled last holiday season, a notable 54% are gearing up for holiday trips this year.
    Price was a driving factor last year and maybe this year, too: 45% of the 60% of the consumers who didn’t travel in the previous holiday season attributed their decision to affordability concerns, either due to steep prices or insufficient travel rewards. This year, value remains at the forefront of travelers’ considerations.
    Loyalty programs can help consumers offset travel costs: 42% of consumers would travel more during the holidays if they got more discounts through their loyalty program, and 32% would if they had more points available to help offset the cost of the trip.
    Loyalty programs could be offering members more: Surveyed consumers said they would welcome their loyalty programs’ help with holiday travel costs, but 45% reported that their loyalty programs aren’t doing anything at all to offer benefits for the holiday period.

The report also examines generational differences in holiday travel intent and, notably, the availability of holiday-specific travel benefits offered through loyalty programs. While the majority of older respondents (Boomers and Silent Generation) indicated a lack of holiday-specific rewards from their loyalty programs, 75% of Gen Z consumers receive incentives and perks that are holiday-focused. This disparity underscores an opportunity for loyalty programs to diversify their offerings, cater to generations differently and expand the availability of rewards and benefits tailored for the holiday season.

“We’re encouraged by consumers’ travel aspirations this season,” added Purcell. “But to make that travel easier – and to create more active, engaged, and high-spending membership bases – travel loyalty programs can do more to elevate their offerings.”

Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website | + Posts

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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