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2024 Spring Travel Forecast: Key Insights for Tourism Marketers

By Hayley Corbett

February 29, 2024

couple biking in a spring meadow as visual representation of spring 2024 destination marketing strategies

Opportunity knocks loudly this spring. 

As reported in TripAdvisor’s “2024 Spring Travel Beats” report, 70% of people are planning to travel this spring – a significant leap in leisure travel interest from previous years. It paints a rosy picture of the continued strength of travel post-pandemic. 

We did a deep dive into the report to help light on the types of travelers, why they’re setting off on new adventures, and what they value most during their journeys. 

For marketers, this knowledge is power—the ability to create compelling marketing strategies based on valuable, personally relevant experiences that not only attract but also delight travelers.

Harnessing this understanding allows for campaigns that are not just seen but felt. Crafting a personal connection with travelers elevates their journey from ordinary to extraordinary.

Key Insights from TripAdvisor’s “2024 Spring Travel Beats” Report

The Spring 2024 travel report unveils critical trends and preferences among travelers, presenting a wealth of opportunities for Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) to tailor and enhance their marketing strategies. For us here at Noble, there were ten insights in particular that stood out:

  • High Spring Travel Interest: With an impressive 70% of survey participants indicating plans for leisure travel in the spring season, there’s a pronounced inclination among Gen Z and millennial groups. This trend offers DMOs a prime opportunity to customize their outreach efforts to resonate with these younger audiences, likely leading to enhanced engagement and improved conversion metrics.
  • Seasonal Travel Reasons: 80% of travelers plan spring trips around key seasonal moments like school breaks, blooming seasons, festivals, and holidays. This trend offers DMOs a chance to boost tourism by highlighting local seasonal attractions and unique events.
  • Decision Window: Identifying that 17% of respondents still undecided about their travel plans, there’s a golden opportunity for DMOs to influence these potential travelers through targeted marketing campaigns, possibly swaying their decision towards booking a trip.
  • Budget Considerations: Economic challenges may influence 36% of travelers to reconsider their plans, yet a majority of 54% plan to keep or increase their budgets, underscoring the appetite for unique, value-focused travel opportunities. DMOs should highlight the unique appeal of their locales to capture this market.
  • Domestic and Return Travel: Considering 64% are planning return visits and 55% are opting for domestic travel, there’s a clear traveler trend towards familiarity. This presents DMOs with a chance to highlight local gems and encourage repeat visits through targeted incentives, meeting the traveler’s need for comfort and known experiences.
  • Pre-booking Tendencies: Given 52% are booking activities and 34% are securing restaurant reservations before their spring trips, travelers seem to like planning ahead. DMOs can attract these proactive planners by promoting travel packages and early booking incentives.
  • Accommodation Preferences: Data was not provided, but the TripAdvisor report mentions that offering a variety of accommodation options, from traditional hotels to vacation rentals, can cater to the diverse preferences of travelers, broadening the appeal of a destination.
  • COVID-19 Concerns: Despite cost and weather concerns, COVID-19 remains a significant hesitation. However, with 86% of travelers comfortable with future travel, destinations must continue to stress and transparently share their health and safety practices to reassure and attract visitors.
  • Duty-Free Shopping: With 73% of travelers valuing duty-free shopping and VAT refunds, and 74% planning these purchases in advance, emphasizing these benefits could entice deal-seekers and enhance the appeal for international visitors.
  • Pet Travel: Seeing that 56% of respondents being pet owners and 43% occasionally traveling with their pets, there’s a clear demand for pet-friendly travel options. Destinations that cater to this need can tap into a dedicated travel niche.
couple walking with a dog in a spring meadow with a cityscape background as visual representation of spring 2024 destination marketing strategies

Putting the Pieces Together

TripAdvisor’s data points are revealing and speak to larger trends in travel and society as a whole. They show us moving towards trips filled with personal touches and rich experiences, highlighting how adaptable and tough the travel world is, even with global ups and downs. Here’s the scoop:

  • Travel Buddies Welcome: Pets are more than just animals; they’re part of the family. That’s why more travelers are choosing destinations and accommodations that welcome their furry friends. 
  • Young Travelers Leading the Way: Gen Z and millennials are all about diving deep into cultures and experiences that echo their own interests and beliefs. They’re choosing travel that feels personal and immersive.
  • Home is Where the Heart Is: There’s a big lean towards domestic destinations. People are planning carefully, keen to book activities and stays ahead of time, balancing caution with the thrill of adventure.
  • Safety First: When picking where to go, clear info on health safety and flexible booking options are top priorities. It’s all about feeling secure and having peace of mind.

For travel marketers and DMOs, it’s clear: understanding what different travelers want and offering them tailored, empathetic campaigns can really make a difference. Let’s get creative and meet travelers where they are, making every journey unforgettable.

Ready to dive deeper and harness these insights for your marketing strategy? Start with our Shoulder Season Traveler Persona Research, or contact us today to explore how you can capitalize on this invaluable research and turn trends into triumphs.

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