US travelers more tech-savvy, value-driven

A new survey from Ypartnership and Harrison Group shows U.S. travelers are becoming more tech-savvy and driven by value, rather than simply lower prices, when determining which hotel to stay at.

The survey, which queried more than 2,500 adults with a household income of more than US$50,000 that had taken at least one leisure trip of 75 miles or more from home requiring overnight accommodations during the previous 12 months, was conducted in March 2011 to shed light on how to American consumers are behaving in a challenging economy.

The survey found that 77% agree that they are a “smarter shopper” because of the today’s economic situation and two in 10 have used a flash sale. Meanwhile three in 10 took a “staycation” instead of a long-distance vacation to save money.

That does not mean the lowest price is the biggest motivator, though, as 64% said they were willing to pay full price for something if they are guaranteed the quality and service they believe they deserve.

To find out where the best value is, survey respondents indicated that they are increasingly using the latest technology. A full 61% said they checked the TripAdvisor website for hotel reviews prior to booking a room, while the amount that downloaded a smartphone travel application increased from 19% in 2010 to 28% in 2011.