The results of Leisure Group Travel’s 2019 Group Intentions survey are in. This marks the fourth year in a row that we have benchmarked the group travel industry. In doing so, we hope to gain insight into those trends that are shaping the market. Thanks to everyone who participated, we hope you enjoy your Diva Travel Bag!
Group trips planned annually
LGT Takeaway: While the majority of leisure group travel organizers are small business (2/3 of respondents indicate they plan less than 10 trips annually), we have seen this number slide by eight percentage points from 2017. Where’s it moving? Large operations planning more than 30 trips, which has increased 4 percentage points from last year alone to an all-time high of 16%.
Average number of nights per trip
LGT Takeaway: Shorter trips are on the rise, with a four-year high in the number of readers planning trips of 3 nights or less. Longer trips also made a rebound this year, with 16% of respondents reporting an average trip length of 8+ nights, up 3% points in the last year.
Average number of passengers per trip
LGT Takeaway: Group sizes continue to shrink as travelers discover the benefits of smaller group sizes (see article page 18) as their preferred method of travel. The number of groups averaging over 50 passengers per trip has dropped 10% points since 2016.
Where do your trips go?
LGT Takeaway: Outbound international travel continues to be strong, especially to Canada and Europe. Northeast saw a slight increase in activity, while the South and Midwest dropped four percentage points, indicating rotation of offerings by smaller operators.
Types of trips planned
LGT Takeaway: We’ve seen a dip in the number of groups offering faith-based holidays with 20% being an all-time low. On the rise is girlfriend/guy trips, which topped out this year at 18%, while traditional trips (no specific affinity) are still most popular.
How do you develop your trips?
LGT Takeaway: This year saw an all-time high in the number of respondents planning their own trips, while exclusive use of a tour operator to orchestrate details bottomed out at 9%.
Resources used to build trips
LGT Takeaway: Travel trade magazines and itineraries continue to be the most trusted resources, while Google search and destination websites reached four-year lows in terms of usage.
Who are your clients?
LGT Takeaway: This question was altered this year to reflect hard age brackets, versus terms like boomers and Gen X that were used previously. With that, we saw a rise in youth travel and a small drop in the senior market.
What would you like to see more of?
1 in 5 readers want more operational advice
LGT Takeaway: In order to tailor our editorial coverage, we ask readers what they’d like to see more of in Leisure Group Travel. Destination features and itineraries continue to be most popular. A new question was asked this year in regards to operational advice, with 1 in 5 readers indicating an interest in this topic.