The U.S. housing market continues to improve. It has been accompanied by a boon for home improvement stores and Web sites looking to garner some of the travel-related dollars typically spent during summer months.
Staycations -- vacations at home -- will become more popular this year, according to a study from Burst Media, an online media company and wholly owned subsidiary of blinkx. The survey conducted in May of more than 670 online U.S. adults age 18 and older reveals that 33% of survey participants will take time off this summer, but plan to stay at home.
In fact, 43.1% said they will take vacation time at home to save money, 32.2% need to catch up with home projects, 31.5% they have family and kids' activities and obligations, and 22.1% plan to visit local sites or engage in local activities. A little more than 12% said they don't want to travel.
For those who want to get away, one-third of respondents either frequently or occasionally turn toward online travel videos. Men, at 35.1%, are slightly more likely than women -- at 29.9% -- to watch. Viewership is highest among 18- to-34-year-olds, where about one-half either frequently or occasionally watch. Viewership declines across all other age segments, dropping to 27.2% among respondents ages 35 to 54 and 25.6% for those ages 55 and older.
Videos about a specific travel destination are the most popular at 32.4%, followed by activities at 28.9%; specific hotels, resorts and campgrounds, 24.3%; reviews about a specific destination, 22.7%; and video reviews about hotels, resorts and campgrounds, 20.2%.
Overall, respondents like to visit travel Web sites with content, including airline sites, at 28.8%; e-commerce sites such as Expedia, at 22.2%; destination-specific sites, at 21.4%; hotel chain sites, at 21.0%; last-minute travel deals and discounts sites, at 19.2%; and general travel information sites, at 15.1%.
Social media has more influence that some might think when it comes to making travel plan -- especially for men. Two in five survey respondents attribute friend or follower recommendations made via social media to making travel-related purchases. Social media influences 18- to-34-year-olds more than those age 55 and older -- at 59.8% vs. 25.2%, respectively. Men ages 25 to 34 are influenced by friends and followers on social platforms. Some 66.7% said social platforms are very or somewhat influential in travel-related purchasing decisions.
About half of consumers planning to take a summer vacation this year have already made travel-related purchases such as tickets or a hotel room, while 44.9% have yet to buy anything. The study did not identify a difference in travel-related purchase behavior between men and women.
Survey participants who report $100,000 or more in annual household income are much more likely than all other income segments to report having made a travel-related purchase for the summer 2013 season, dropping to 52.5% of those reporting between $50,000 and $74,999. The percentage falls to 43.7% between $35,000 and $74,999, and 42.4% for less than $35,000.