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For the first time, ASTA and Sandals Resorts International have teamed up to reveal the hottest travel trends as uncovered from the ASTA 2015 Trends Report. If you’re a travel advisor, this information can help you offer more personalized and valuable advice to your clients. The report revealed some surprising, but not entirely surprising, travel trends. First, the report found that 91 percent of adults book vacations online and 71 percent use travel advisors to help plan the trip. The most popular online booking sites are Expedia and Priceline, but agents still play a crucial role in the booking process. In fact, the report found that agents booked 21 percent of the trips booked on Expedia and Priceline.

On August 31, ASTA and Sandals Resorts International commemorated National Travel Advisor Day, a day to honor the work travel advisors do to provide excellent service to both travel enthusiasts and business travelers. On this day, travel advisors were given special recognition and gifts from ASTA and Sandals. The travel industry is currently worth billions of dollars each year, and travel advisors are a growing field.

The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is celebrating National Travel Advisors Day with Sandals Resorts.

The two organizations have teamed up to conduct a study on travelers’ attitudes and behaviors to provide important information to advisors wondering what summer crowds will look like.

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Thanks to our partners at Sandals Resorts, we have good news for this year’s National Travel Advisor Day celebration, said Zane Kirby, ASTA president and CEO. This research focuses on the changing travel landscape to help advisors understand the importance of their role as advocates for their clients. The good news for travel advisors is that we are seeing a significant increase in overall travel demand and, as a result, travelers are seeking expert advice.

Travelers are eager to catch up and have fun again by dreaming about vacations and taking holidays. This research shows the importance of trusted advice going hand in hand with trusted brands when planning a trip, said Gary Sadler, executive vice president of global sales and industry relations for Sandals Resorts. Competence counts. We have long celebrated the professionals whose recommendations make travel and tours just better, especially today.

Current trend

The study focused on three different areas: Travel destinations, travel preferences and the use of travel consultants.

The key findings show that more than a quarter of travellers (27%) used a travel advisor always or often before the pandemic. However, after the pandemic, almost half of travellers (44%) said they were more likely to use a travel adviser.

The study also found that almost all travellers (94%) who used travel advisors before the pandemic would continue to do so after the pandemic.

Travelers who used travel advisors before the pandemic seem more willing to take new trips now that conditions have returned to normal. The study found that 72% of travelers who booked with an advisor were willing to travel, compared to 47% of travelers who did not use an advisor.

Other details from the study show that travelers who use an advisor are more likely to stay at all-inclusive resorts (33% vs. 16%), travel abroad (35% vs. 18%) and take a cruise (36% vs. 10%).

Travel preferences

There are clear differences between travellers who use an advisor and those who do not.

The ASTA study found that 45% of those who always use a travel advisor put quality time without children at the top of their priority list, compared to 13% of those who do not use an advisor.

Seventy percent of those who use a travel consultant consider a relaxing dinner an important aspect of their next vacation, compared to 51 percent of those who do not use a travel consultant.

Of all travelers, more than half are willing to travel now (29%) or in the next three months (25%). By the end of 2021, all but 19% of travelers will be ready to travel again, according to the study.

The study highlighted different ways in which travel advisors can deal with clients who do not want to book with a travel advisor. This includes offering a free room upgrade, free breakfast and the addition of gratuities, personal experiences or the opportunity to enjoy a gourmet meal.

Not surprisingly, 55% of travelers who have never used a travel advisor are more likely to use one if it gives them access to preferred relationships and privileged access, according to the study.

Destinations

The study by ASTA and Sandals shows a shift in the desired direction.

The interest in travel to Europe and the Caribbean has increased significantly. The survey found that nearly two-thirds of travelers (62%) want to vacation in the United States, nearly half (45%) in Europe and 44% in the Caribbean.

This is in stark contrast to the results of a study conducted before the January 2020 pandemic. According to the survey, 75% of travelers planned to travel to the United States and 17% had Europe on their itinerary.

The study also showed a significant increase in interest in the Caribbean. Forty-four percent of travelers said they plan to take a trip to the Caribbean this year, up 33 percent from January last year.

Travelers are also interested in various post-pandemic activities.

The study shows that the most popular activities are visiting historical sites (53%), enjoying pristine beaches and sunsets (49%) or unique restaurants (47%). Only 29% said they wanted to go to a big city.

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