This morning, at the 2015 TBEX North America conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Johnny was part of a panel revealing and evaluating the findings of the TBEX Travel Professionals Survey. Completed by travel writers, photographers and documentarians around the world, the survey served as an attempt to delve deeper into the travel habits of these professionals—and just as importantly, to find out what some of the world’s most tuned-in travelers think is ahead for 2016. The whole thing was commissioned by The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, one of the best-reviewed cards in travel right now.
Here are some of the findings as shared by the 205 travel professionals who participated:
1. Travel bloggers travel a lot
- Travel bloggers travel an average of 88 days per year and spend an average of $2,415 per trip
- 17% travel more than six months per year
- 79% use rewards or program points on hotels or flights
2. Travel bloggers seek adventure, authentic experiences and local food
- From a list of options, 69% (the highest mark) of travel bloggers named their most sought-after trip as “adventure experiences,” 65% named “food & wine tastings” as their most sought-after, and 64% selected “off-the-beaten path trips”
- On trips, 83% (the highest mark) said they seek “local food and fine dining,” 75% seek local cultural events, and 67% seek “experiencing nature”
3. The top US destinations for 2016 as ranked by travel bloggers are
- New Orleans, LA (22%)
- New York, NY (21%)
- Portland, OR (12%)
- Austin, TX (10%)
4. The top international destinations for 2016 as ranked by travel bloggers are
- Iceland (13%)
- China (11%)
- Japan (10%)
- New Zealand (10%)
- Cuba (9%)
5. Travel bloggers recommend research and spontaneity as top travel tips
- 18% (the highest mark) named “reading reviews or blogs” as the top piece of travel wisdom
- 16% identified the importance of “spontaneity on a trip” as their best travel tip
- 12% selected “asking questions or talking to locals”
- 12% went with “packing light”
6. Travel bloggers see social media and mobile apps as the biggest industry-shapers right now
- 11% (the highest mark) named “sharing on social media” as the biggest trend shaping the travel industry
- 10% asserted it is “more use of mobile travel-related”
7. Wi-Fi is critically important
- 64% of travel bloggers say Wi-Fi is “extremely important when deciding which destination/attraction/hotel to visit”
- The other top two factors influencing their hotel choices are “proximity to city center or attraction of interest” and “price”
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.