TripAdvisor launches new edition of TripBarometer revealing the Psychology of Travel

Posted: Thu 25 Sep, 2014 11:58 AM

TripAdvisor launches new edition of TripBarometer revealing the Psychology of Travel



Travellers from APAC are more likely than others to learn something new as a result of a vacation


Singapore – 25 September, 2014 – TripAdvisor™ today announced the results of the latest instalment of TripBarometer, focusing on the Psychology of Travel. This is the fourth edition of the biannual study, conducted on behalf of TripAdvisor by independent research firm Ipsos. TripBarometer is the world’s largest traveller and accommodation survey1 highlighting country, regional and global travel trends according to more than 53,000 travellers and hoteliers around the world, with 10,107 respondents from the Asia-Pacific region. The TripBarometer: Psychology of Travel report examines the motivations behind travellers’ vacation choices, traveller emotions at the various stages of a vacation and the post-trip impact of travel.


The Psychology of Travel: What motivates us to travel

Ipsos’ extensive research in various sectors has led to an understanding of the different psychological needs and motivations that impact human behaviour across different settings and scenarios. In order to delve into the psychology of travel for this study, traveller respondents were asked to select two statements that best represented how they wanted to feel from a holiday.


The statements each relate to one of eight motivational categories:

Motivational category

Pairs of statements about how travellers want to feel on vacation relate to each motivational category


Liberation =

Enjoy life to the fullest


Let go and feel carefree

Immersion =

Immerse myself in local culture


Meet new people & make memories

Relationships =

Enjoy moments with loved ones


Strengthen existing relationships

Harmony =

Restore sense of harmony/balance


Feel looked after/taken care of

Order =

Time out to think & regain control


Feel organised / avoid surprises

Enhancing perspective =

Unique & interesting experiences


Enrich understanding of the world

Luxury =

Have enviable experiences


Feel special and spoiled

Excitement =

Enjoy a sense of exhilaration


Challenge myself to try new things


The results of this approach reveal that ‘enhancing perspective’ is the primary motivation for vacation choices for the majority of travellers (Global: 71%; APAC: 67%), followed by ‘liberation’ (Global: 62%; APAC: 66%). ‘Order’ and ‘harmony’ are the least important motivations for travellers, with only 21 percent falling into these categories globally and only 22 percent and 19 percent in Asia-Pacific travellers falling into the two categories, respectively.


While ‘enhancing perspective’ is the main driver for travellers around the world, there are variations in motivations when looking at different nationalities: while travellers from South Africa, UK and Italy lean towards ‘harmony’, Brazilians, Thais and Chinese seek out ‘liberation’ whilst Russians are more keen on getting ‘luxury’ from their vacations.


Hotelier respondents were also asked to select statements that best matched how they wanted their guests to feel as a result of their stay. Seventy-one percent of APAC hoteliers want to provide their guests with a sense of ‘harmony’, compared to 73 percent of global hoteliers. While this is not in line with motivation for travellers on holiday, APAC hotelier respondents are also keen to provide an experience that offers a sense of ‘immersion’ and ‘liberation’ –at 49 percent and 47 percent respectively. There is clearly an opportunity for hoteliers to stand out from the competition by offering more experiences that provide guests with a chance to broaden their horizons while they are in the destination, matching the ‘enhance perspective’ motivation most favoured by travellers.


“Travellers from Barcelona to Beijing crave unique and interesting experiences. Whether they get a few days or a few weeks of vacation, they want more from their trips than time spent lounging by the pool,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer, TripAdvisor. “The TripBarometer Psychology of Travel report shows us that travellers want their vacation to count – it’s about broadening horizons, feeling immersed in local culture, and sharing the experience with loved ones.”


The traveller journey: How travellers feel at various stages of a trip

This edition of TripBarometer examined which emotions travellers were most likely to feel at the five stages of travel: booking, arrival, during the stay, departure and back at home. Excitement peaks during lead-up and arrival, with travellers feeling most fulfilled upon returning home from a vacation.


Fifty four percent of travellers both globally and in Asia-Pacific report feeling ‘excited’ at the booking stage. Japanese travellers tend to be the most excited leading up to the vacation, while Thais and Indonesians tend to be among the least excited at the booking stage. For travellers, excitement is the predominant emotion on arrival at their destination (Global: 55%; APAC: 56%), with 34 percent of global travellers and 33 percent of APAC travellers also reporting feeling ‘energised’ at this stage.


During the stay, the majority of travellers (Global: 45%; APAC: 42%) feel ‘relaxed’, but this is also the time when travellers begin to feel more ‘liberated’ (Global: 26%; APAC: 32%) and ‘closer to their loved ones’ (Global: 24%; APAC 24%). Travellers feel ‘fulfilled’ both on departure from their vacation (Global: 47%; APAC: 47%) and once they are back home (Global: 45%; APAC: 43%), with 36 percent of global respondents and 35 percent of APAC respondents also saying they feel ‘relaxed’ following a vacation. Indonesians are amongst the nationalities most likely to feel ‘fulfilled’ on departure from their holiday while Thais are among the least likely to feel ‘fulfilled’ both on departure and once they’re back home.


Hoteliers have an opportunity to hook travellers when they are excited, and to contribute to their guests feeling more knowledgeable throughout their stay. As part of the study, hoteliers were asked what actions they took throughout the traveller journey to relate to their guests. Half of APAC hoteliers (49%) say their main priority is to ensure a smooth and efficient process at booking and 37 percent are keen to minimise any potential stress leading up to arrival. However, there is more they could be doing to leverage travellers’ feelings of excitement right from the start by providing local information about the destination and beginning to build a relationship with the guest before they even arrive.


The post-travel impact: how vacation experiences affect everyday life

Travellers often bring home souvenirs from their vacations, but what else? For this wave of TripBarometer, respondents were asked to think back on their travels and reveal what they had been prompted to do as a result of a trip.


Sixty-six percent of global travellers and 61 percent of APAC travellers report that returning home from a trip has prompted them to plan another vacation. Over a third (38%) globally and 32 percent of APAC travellers also introduce new foods into their diets. However, Thais and Indonesians are ranked among the least likely to introduce new foods and recipes into their regimes.


According to the study, travellers from the Asia-Pacific region are less likely than others to become more open-minded and tolerant of others (Global: 45%; APAC: 41%), but more likely to learn something new (Global: 37%; APAC: 40%) as a result of a holiday. In looking across the globe, Indonesians (61%) and Malaysians (60%) are most likely to become more open minded and tolerant of others, than travellers from other countries. In addition, Thais (49%), Indonesians (48%) and Malaysians (48%) top the list of travellers most likely to learn something new as a result of a trip, while Indians are among the least likely (29%).


The study reveals that 35 percent of APAC travellers also say they have become more environmentally-friendly upon returning from a trip, compared to 31 percent globally. Indians (49%) and Thais (44%) are among the most likely to become more eco-friendly upon returning home from holiday. The study also shows that Malaysian and Thai travellers are three times more likely than the average global traveller (4%) to start a family post-vacation with 12 percent of Malaysians and 11 percent Thais reporting that they’ve start a family as a result of a holiday. The Japanese on the other hand, are the least likely to start a family post-vacation (1%).


Looking at travellers globally by life stage groups, millennials are more likely to learn something new (42%) or start a new relationship (10%) as a result of a trip, travellers with no children are more likely to introduce foods they tried while traveling into their everyday diets (43%), and families are the most likely to prioritise more time on relationships with friends and family (31%) upon returning home from vacation.


Over half of hoteliers (Global: 57%; APAC: 55%) encourage their guests to write online reviews following their stay, and to recommend the hotel to family and friends. Those hoteliers who see a guest return rate of between 76-100% are more likely to prioritise ‘beginning to build a lasting relationship’ (34%) during the lead up to a guests stay.


"The results of the TripBarometer highlight that hoteliers can stand out from the competition by providing unique and enriching experiences. And while it's no surprise that travellers tend to be excited when they book and prepare for a trip, hoteliers are missing an opportunity to capitalise on that excitement and begin building a lasting relationship with their guests. Only a minority of hotels are currently making this a priority, but those who do also tend to receive more repeat guests," said Marc Charron, president, TripAdvisor for Business.


- End -


¹ Methodology: The TripBarometer study, by TripAdvisor, is based upon an online survey conducted from 17 July to 5 August 2014, conducted by Ipsos, a global research firm. A total of 53,804 interviews were completed in 32 markets, spanning 7 regions. The sample is made up of 39,721 consumers who are TripAdvisor website users and Ipsos online panelists who have researched their travel plans online in the last year, and 14,083 representatives from accommodations on TripAdvisor database, making it the world’s largest combined accommodation and traveller survey. The consumer survey data is weighted to represent the known profile of the online population, to keep in line with previous waves of TripBarometer. Equal weighting is also applied at country level for the business survey. For additional information about TripBarometer, please visit and download the global report.


About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor™ is the world's largest travel site*, enabling travellers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travellers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching nearly 280 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 170 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 45 countries worldwide, including China under TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 24 other travel media brands:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, Q1 2014


**Source: Google Analytics, average monthly unique users, Q2 2014; does not include traffic to

View all News

PATA Opinion

Invitation PATA long Haul Workshop 2013

It’s with great pleasure that PATA Denmark Chapter for the 8th time hereby invite you to join us at the traditional Long Haul Workshop held in Copenhagen on October 30th a ....

Posted on Wed 17 Jul 2013 11:14 AM

View all posts