Reconnecting with family and friends is a major draw for travelers as they venture out again, according to a new report from Hilton.
Nearly three in five (57 percent) of travelers surveyed by Hilton said that the people who accompany them are a central part of their travel experience. Because of that, the ability to book connecting rooms for groups traveling together is seen as a big plus.
It’s not just leisure travelers who want to re-establish personal connections. According to a survey from Hilton and Morning Brew, 87 percent of respondents said they missed traveling for work and 54 percent believe that the importance of building relationships in real-life is greater than ever.
Four-legged friends are also making their presence felt in travel priorities. A growing number of Americans have become “pet parents” during the pandemic, and Hilton finds that many of them want to take their pets along as they start to travel.
It says that “pet-friendly” is now the #3 most-used search filter on Hilton.com, and that it’s an especially important perk for younger travelers. It cites a report from Mars Petcare in which seven out of 10 Gen Z and Millennial pet owners said they would be more likely to travel in the future if their pets were welcome to come along.
Traveling sustainably was a major factor for 86 percent of travelers surveyed by Accenture, and the American Express Global Trends Travel Report found that 77 percent of respondents want to be more conscious about supporting small, local businesses while traveling.
With consumer interest in cooking at home on the rise, the appeal of culinary experiences appears to be growing as those consumers hit the road.
Safety and sustainability are also big concerns. Contactless travel is turning into a must-have for many travelers, with 76 percent of those surveyed in a Blackbox Research study saying their preferred travel destinations would have airports offering reliable touchless identity and contactless clearance experiences.
But the taste for adventure is far from dead. The Hilton survey found that nearly 80 percent of Americans plan to take a wish-list trip in the coming months, with 59 percent saying that they plan the kind of vacation they would not have considered prior to the pandemic.
There are still some limitations, however, with 60 percent of respondents planning to travel domestically before heading overseas.