Visa study shows trip days shrink

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SINGAPORE, 9 February 2018: Trips are getting shorter, down from a global average of 10 nights in 2013 to eight nights today.

That is just one of the observations of the latest Global Intentions Index released by Visa, Thursday.

In examining motivation and planning tactics, the GTI Study of outbound travellers from 27 countries and territories also uncovered macro trends expected to continue in 2018.

While travellers are taking shorter breaks globally, people are planning to take more frequent trips in the future, from an average of 2.5 trips in the past two years to 2.7 trips in the next two years.

The Americas lead the pack in number of trips in the past two years, taking an average of 3.2 trips in 2017.

Technology is helping some travellers better navigate their destinations: 88% of travellers gained online access while abroad. Almost half (44%) use ride-sharing apps to get around once they are on the ground.

However, just 11% p of global travel includes visits to multiple countries.

Japan, the United States and Australia are the most visited countries: Japan has overtaken the United States as the most popular destination for global travellers in the past two years.

Regional preferences prevail, though, with travellers in the Asia-Pacific region leaning heavily toward Japan as a travel destination. American travellers prefer continental Europe, though Mexico, Canada and Japan are also highly desirable.

Saudi Arabians are the top spenders when it comes to what travellers spend on their entire trips, including the booking stage as well as expenditures at the destination, with Chinese, Australians, Americans and Kuwaitis rounding out the top five.

Travellers are increasingly using technology to plan their trips and navigate their destinations – 83% of travellers used technology for this purpose in 2017 compared to 78%  in 2015.

Yet the majority of them are still decidedly analog when it comes to making payments internationally. While many travelers use cards while on vacation, most (77%) still prefer to use cash when making purchases.

The Study also found the following themes related to the use of cash while traveling internationally:

Cash causes anxiety: Travellers cited loss of cash or theft as a top money concern while on trips.

Big Spenders: The average global traveller spends USD1,793 per trip, yet the global median amount of cash brought to destination globally clocks in at a whopping USD778.

Trade-off: In order to travel with that much cash, 72% of people prepared their foreign currency prior to their departure date.

Telling sign: Only slightly more than one in 10 people made an ATM withdrawal at their destination. Security at ATMs is one area of concern affecting this statistic, cited by nearly one in five travellers as a barrier to using an ATM. Travellers from Europe,  the Middle East and Africa are, however, more likely to withdraw cash during vacation compared to those from other regions.

Leftover cash: A whopping 87% have leftover cash after their trips, but only 29% convert it back to currency they can actually use at home. The global median leftover amount is USD123.