Travellers are placing increasing value on experiences that enrich their lives and allow them to share enjoyment and happiness with friends and family – and it’s a global trend

Research from YouGov on behalf of airport experiences specialist, Priority Pass, has found that the trend for experiences over material goods is global. Surveying over 10,000 people from nine countries across the world, the data showed that respondents all overwhelmingly valued shared experiences – which manifests most clearly in the form of holidays.


Summary:

  • Research from YouGov on behalf of airport experiences specialist, Priority Pass, has found that the trend for experiences over material goods is global;
  • The Survey of over 10,000 people from nine countries across the world, shows that respondents all overwhelmingly valued shared experiences;
  • Findings reinforces belief people are now increasingly looking for more meaning in what they do and possessions are proving less valuable than life experiences.

It is becoming an accepted belief that people are now increasingly looking for more meaning in what they do and possessions are proving less valuable than life experiences, which provide memories and deliver learnings. Thanks to globalisation, a drop in travel prices, and better online services, it’s never been easier for people to plan and book a trip to meet this need for new experiences.

“Where we’re now seeing the biggest shift amongst travellers is the demand for more personalised and customer-centric services as part of the travel experience, even before they’ve reached their destination,” explains Christopher Evans, joint CEO at Collinson, the operator of Priority Pass. “We certainly find that people now expect extra touches on top of their travel experiences to make them even more enjoyable and special.”

From the findings of the YouGov research, Priority Pass has ranked the experiences deemed most valuable by consumers. These (from most valued to least valued) comprise:

  • Cultural holidays overseas
  • Holidaying at home
  • Wellness and spa holidays abroad
  • Overseas city breaks and weekends away
  • Going out for a meal
  • Solo travel abroad
  • Catching a film at the cinema
  • Attending live events
  • Sporting holidays overseas
  • Buying luxury items

CLICK HERE for an infographic with more details on this ranking

The research found that almost half of those surveyed (46%) like to holiday at home, while 42% enjoy domestic short breaks and 41% enjoy exploring the cultural hot spots of other countries. The latter tops the Priority Pass ranking with one-fifth (20%) of people saying they most enjoyed a cultural trip abroad.

This was reflected in spending, with people splashing out an average of USD1,530 a year on getting away from it all. This was more than any other activity and almost double what they spend on luxury items, which rung up an average of USD810. Wellness holidays abroad fared well, with almost a fifth (18%) of people surveyed saying they enjoy this kind of break – with Russians and Saudi Arabians particularly enjoying them at 33% and 38% respectively.

However, holidays are not the only experiences we enjoy. More than a fifth of respondents (22%) like to indulge in health and beauty services like massages and manicures while half of people said they like going to the cinema (49%). And at the top of the table, 59% of people surveyed in the nine countries across the world said they enjoy going out for a meal.

The results suggest that a shared social experience is key to people’s enjoyment. The way we use social media also adds to the perception of value of an experience. For example, travel for leisure and a trip to the cinema are the activities respondents we’re most likely to post about on social media (31% and 27% respectively) compared to more solitary activities like a fitness session at the gym (11%) or buying a new luxury purchase (11%).

There are many reports highlighting the travel dynamics of different generations of travellers. The You Gov research for Priority Pass found that holidays in particular, are valued by all age groups. For example, 36% of 18-24-year olds say holidaying abroad is their favourite thing to do, with over 55s matching them (36%). Some of the differences included that 35-44s enjoy city breaks abroad the most (29%) closely followed by 18-24s (25%), while solo travel abroad is popular with one-fifth of people surveyed in the 35-44 and 18-24 age categories.

“The statistics show that experience is definitely king. This research tells us just how highly people value different experiences, especially those that can be shared,” says Mr Evans. With consumer behaviour changing, it is clear that companies that are able to offer products and services which respond to the growing investment in the currency of experience, will reap the rewards when it comes to customer loyalty.

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