2019 Consumer Travel Survey Offers Destination Inspiration for Meeting Planners

Hawaii, Alaska and California top travelers’ list of desired destinations.

hawaii travel leaders group survey 2019
Hawaii

Americans need a vacation -- and most of them plan to take more than one in 2019, according to travel agency Travel Leaders Group, which yesterday published the results of its latest consumer travel trends survey. Based on a poll of more than 3,500 consumers, it forecasts the most popular consumer travel spots of 2019, the results of which can serve as market research for meeting professionals who want to know which destinations will drive attendee interest in the year ahead.

The most important takeaway from the survey, according to Travel Leaders Group, is that consumers are hungry for travel. So hungry that 96 percent of them said they plan to travel on vacation in 2019, with nearly 90 percent indicating that they plan to take the same or more trips in 2019 as they took in 2018. Furthermore, three-quarters (76 percent) said they’re planning to take at least two or more leisure trips next year, with 36 percent suggesting their travels will include solo trips.
 
Meeting planners should take this as a positive indicator: If consumers want to travel for leisure, they likely will seize opportunities to travel for business, as well -- especially when those opportunities include experiential meetings in top destinations.
 
“The desire to travel among North Americans is stronger than ever with an increasing focus on authentic, memorable experiences,” said Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko. “Across our network of more than 52,000 travel advisors, we are seeing increasing interest in specialty travel such as culinary-focused, heritage journeys and bucket-list destinations. Further, many people are not willing to forego vacations because they have no one to travel with or, in many cases, simply prefer to travel on their own. We are seeing a rise in solo travel, and our advisors and travel-supplier partners are stepping up and catering to that demand with tailored trips for the solo traveler.”
 
As for destinations, Travel Leaders Group published several lists, the first of which is the top 10 U.S. destinations in which consumer travelers are interested:
 
1. Hawaii (pictured)
2. Alaska
3. California
4. Florida
5. Louisiana
6. Colorado
7. New York
8. Arizona
9. Montana
10. Washington, D.C.
 
For international travel, consumer travelers are most interested in:
 
1. The Caribbean
2. Western Europe
3. Mexico
4. Canada
5. Eastern Europe
 
The top domestic destinations for solo travelers are:
 
1. Florida
2. California
3. Hawaii
4. New York
5. Alaska
 
The top international destinations for solo travelers are:
 
1. Western Europe
2. The Caribbean
3. The United Kingdom/Ireland
4. Eastern Europe
5. Australia