Global Travel Budgets To Increase In 2014

Travel budgets across the globe will steadily rise this year, but travellers will be more demanding. Travellers are forecast to splash out more on their trips, with the average amount increasing from $5,955 last year to $6,136 in 2014, representing an increase of 3%, a TripAdvisor study shows.

The third TripBarometer survey by the world's largest travel site was conducted by research organisation Ipsos and covers global trends based on responses from more than 61,000 travellers and hoteliers from around the world.

The percentage of people planning to travel is predicted to grow across almost all market segments. In 2014, nine out ten travellers plan to make a domestic trip, an increase from 87% last year, while 77% of participants in the survey said that they plan a trip overseas, a rise from 65% in 2013.

South Africans, in particular, are expected to register the largest increase in travel expenditure in 2014, up 30% from last year, followed by travellers from Indonesia, Australia and Malaysia. Despite worries about economic uncertainty, travellers do not want to go without holidays and many people have opted to look for travel deals and cut other expenditure instead.

Consumers are increasing their research activity in order to find the best deal, with 54% of global travellers saying that their holiday choice is influenced by a good deal or offer. In addition, a massive 95% of participants in the study said that price is the factor that guides their choice, and 44% said that special offers are an important factor when making a booking decision.

Currency fluctuations are also said to be a factor that impacts travellers' plans, with nearly half of participants in the poll (44%) saying that it might influence their trip decision. Nevertheless, affected travellers are unlikely to give up their holiday and of those 44%, over half say that they will do more research to find the best offer.

Looking at hoteliers globally, they list online reviews and recommendations as very important when it comes to influencing people's booking choice. The study's findings show that although hoteliers are aware that price is a critical factor, they believe that the room rate along with a good online reputation will positively influence people's booking decision.

Over the next two years Europe will be the leader when it comes to places the global traveller plans to visit, mentioned by 46%, closely followed by Asia with 39% and North America which was listed by 32%. Australia and Italy emerged as the most preferred destinations for travellers to visit if money was not an issue.