New study provides insights on the world\’s most frequent and affluent travellers

Global research agency BDRC Group has launched an innovative new study that surveys travellers at their point of purchase through traditional travel agencies, online travel agents (OTAs) and corporate travel management companies (TMCs).  With a sample of 16,286 projected to a universe of 9.9 million weekly air travellers, this new technique delivers exceptional data quality, capturing the views of both leisure and business travellers as they make their booking – a method that ensures views, habits and travel motivations are recalled while they are top-of-mind. The study, made possible with the support of the BBC, Bloomberg Media and CNN, is designed to meet the needs of marketers wanting to reach this valuable travel segment.  Measuring the consumption of 120+ media brands spanning all platforms (traditional and digital) and genres including news, sport and entertainment, it delivers unique insight to media agencies, advertisers, national tourism organisations (NTOs), airlines and hotels with the ability to segment both the business and leisure travel market. Media Consumption Highlights:

  • With this truly international audience, consumption of international media is very high. The BBC, Bloomberg and CNN (the Media GPS sponsors) collectively reach over 64% of travellers in a typical month.
  • Amongst consumers of news brands in the past week, 60% agreed that while travelling, international news is “even more important” to them.

Key Business Traveller Highlights:

  • Globally, business travellers took on average nearly 7 international flights and stayed 18 nights in hotels annually.
  • Business travellers are mixing business with pleasure, with 40% of business travellers stating that they add extra leisure days on to their business trip.
  • For those with budget responsibilities at work, they are on average accountable for corporate spending over US$1.5 million – a huge opportunity for B2B advertisers.

Key Leisure Traveller Highlights:

  • Leisure travellers took over 3 international trips on average and racked up 13 hotel nights in the past year.
  • The average annual household income of the Media GPS traveller is over US$100,000.
  • What’s on their minds when flying? 4 in 10 are thinking of tempting new food and drinks to experience. 27% are considering buying gifts for their partner or family – and over a third have paid more than $2,000 per person for a leisure trip in the past year.

Trending Investment and Travel Trends: Brexit has dominated the news globally, but there is some good news for the UK in this study. It is the only European country in the global top 10 of trending investment destinations (fieldwork all conducted post the Brexit vote). Furthermore, the UK performs particularly strongly amongst first/ business class travellers. Countries that are perceived as becoming increasingly attractive for foreign direct investment from overseas.

Ranked by First/Business Class Travellers First/ Business Class Travellers Economy/ Premium Economy Travellers
China 22% 28%
United States 19% 20%
India 15% 18%
United Kingdom 12% 10%
Vietnam 11% 10%
Brazil 9% 9%
United Arab Emirates 5% 9%
Japan 8% 8%
Singapore 8% 8%
Australia 7% 8%

Whilst not in the top 10, Portugal also performs well amongst First/ Business class travellers – fuelled no doubt by Lisbon’s booming tech start up scene.  However, overall it is Asian countries that dominate the list, with China, India and Vietnam standing out in 1st, 3rd and 5th positions. London also does very well amongst First/ Business class passengers when it comes to being a must-see city – overtaking Paris. Trending tourist destinations that travellers are “hearing a lot more about”. European countries fare better as tourist destinations than for business, with four countries in the  First/ Business class travellers’ top 10.

Ranked by First/Business Class First/ Business Class Travellers Economy/ Premium Economy Travellers
United States 26% 28%
France 18% 22%
Japan 17% 17%
Italy 14% 18%
Thailand 14% 17%
Australia 14% 15%
China 13% 16%
United Kingdom 13% 15%
Spain 12% 14%
Vietnam 9% 9%

Looking at the study as a whole, “The most startling finding is not how different travellers are from each other, regardless of country of origin, but how similar they are”, comments James Myring, BDRC Director leading Media GPS.  “Respondents within the Media GPS sample have much in common: attitudes, wealth, demographics, luxury brands purchased and international media consumed.  The data provides concrete evidence that these \’global citizens\’ (who are concentrated in the major international cities) often have more in common with each other than with the broader population in their own countries.” BDRC’s Singapore-based Media Director, Anthony Dobson, in commenting on the Asia-Pacific results said “One thing is clear: respondents in the Asia-Pacific region care about the same issues as their global counterparts.  And the World sees Asian markets not only as the dominant region for attracting inward investment, but also they are clearly establishing themselves as leading tourist destinations, with 5 out of the top 10 in the region.”