“Over the past few years we have seen a subset of the affluent traveler emerge that Leading Hotels has termed the Curious Traveler. Understanding the mindset and motivations of this very specific customer segment is the goal of this report,” said Ted Teng, President and CEO, The Leading Hotels of the World. “Our study paints a rich portrait of who this individual is. One who is captivated by exploring diverse cultures, who eschews the expected and thrives on discovery. Leading Hotels are engaging places where art, culture, history and cuisine converge elegantly to offer these discerning travelers the ideal next stop on their journey of discovery.”
“Insights on the Curious Traveler” from The Leading Hotels of the World:
Travel is Essential For Curious Travelers
Curious Travelers are taking almost eight leisure trips a year…and while American travelers take the least amount of vacation compared to other markets in this study, they are the most likely to visit new destinations when they travel overseas.
- 79% of curious travelers feel that travel is an essential part of life.
- 30% of curious travelers intend to take more trips in 2016 vs. 12% who plan to take fewer.
- 78% express interest in exploring a destination's hidden gems.
- 54% look for unique and different travel adventures.
- Only 32% seek the “hottest/trendiest” spots
- The curious traveler will spend 7% more on hotel accommodations per night this year than they did in 2015 ($419 per night/$390 per night).
Curious Travelers are Defined by Their Confident Outlook
The curious traveler has a strong sense of self. They trust their judgment as much, if not more, than the opinions of others.
- 46% of curious international travelers consider themselves a trendsetter amongst their circle of friends.
- 60% consider themselves the primary person responsible for leisure trip decision-making.
- 81% like to conduct independent research online to find the experiences they want.
Curious Travelers Thrive on Cultural Immersion…Americans are Especially Curious
This traveler seeks immersion – 68% of survey respondents think it's important to immerse in a destination and learn about its culture. The curious traveler defines culture in terms of History, Architecture, Food, and People. These are the cultural experiences they want the most when they travel:
- Visiting notable historical/architectural sites: 91%
- Culinary experiences: 89%
- Getting to know local people: 78%
More than half (60%) of survey respondents said they want to experience a destination as a local would. This curiosity about other cultures is especially pronounced among Americans, who outranked other markets in their agreement with the statement “I am curious about other cultures:”
- U.S.: 81%
- Germany: 76%
- Japan: 69%
Curious Travelers are More “Adventurous”
- 81% say creating memories is most important when traveling.
- When traveling to new destinations, they go overseas. Travelers Who Took an International Trip in the Past 12 Months:
- U.S.: 93%
- Germany: 58%
- Japan: 52%
73% of curious travelers believe “on vacation it is essential for me to do something out of the ordinary from my routine.”
Curious Travelers Know Where they Want to Go
This traveler knows what they like and when they find it, they go back. While they certainly value and expect quality, they don't glean reassurance from brand name recognition alone. When it comes to international travel, they mostly want to go to destinations in Europe and North America.
- 44% of travelers stay at their favorite hotel when they return to a destination.
- 71% say that they find reassurance in a five-star designation.
- 78% say that a well-known brand name is only somewhat important or not important at all.
Destination Preferences: Europe remains the top destination for travelers (70%).
Curious Travelers Blend Business with Pleasure
Curious travelers often navigate a seamless transition between work and leisure. When possible, they are looking to make the most of their business trips with leisure components.
- On average, international curious travelers took more business trips (8.9) than leisure trips (8.4) over the past 12 months.
- 54% took time on at least one business trip to enjoy activities typically associated with leisure travel, such as playing golf or relaxing at the spa.
- 42% of curious travelers took a spouse, friend or family member on at least one business trip the past 12 months.