What do people want from travel?

SINGAPORE, 6 August 2021: More people recognize the value of self-enrichment and are willing to invest time and energy in experiences that leave them feeling uplifted long after the moment ends, according to findings from the inaugural Mastercard Experience Research.

The research shows they prefer experiences that they can do with family and friends (81%) and want to visit new places so they can see and do things they’ve never done before (71%) while being open to cultural influences and learning about new cultures (66%). A bonding experience between themselves and people they care about is the number one thing that makes an experience truly “priceless”.

“Mastercard has long been a brand that connects people to each other and their passions,” said Mastercard chief marketing and communications officer Raja Rajamannar. “The pandemic forced people to reconsider what they need from experiences and brands to reimagine how to deliver them. Findings from the research help us understand what is most meaningful to people today, and what experiences we can bring them to help create moments.”

The Pandemic Taught Us to Prioritize Our Own Wellbeing to Better Connect with Others

People increased their focus on tech-enabled wellbeing (22%), rest and balance (29%), and soothing activities (30%) during the pandemic. Their proactive focus on self with an eye toward increased resilience lead them to prioritize mental wellbeing (85%), emotional wellbeing (83%) and physical wellbeing (83%), all to find the energy to connect with others.

People Crave a Break from Everyday Pressures, Looking to Connect with The World Around Them and Those They Care About

With more time at home, people were reliant on technology to stay connected to work, family and friends. Now people are ready to focus on relaxation, whether that be through leisure activities like online gaming or by escaping to the great outdoors. Nearly half of the people surveyed agreed that it is important to spend time unplugged without interruption from any device. In fact, when asked about their preferred unplugged activities, people over-index on outdoor adventures.  Globally, there is above average interest (Index 100) in using nature and open spaces as an escape from everyday life, preferring road trips (175), exercise (138), remote/secluded getaways (138), and camping and hiking (125).

Experiences Are Truly Priceless When They’re Had with Others

Companionship and quality time with loved ones is a priority for people, with nearly three quarters stating they make a real effort to have this quality time with friends and family, and what makes an experience truly priceless is the bonding opportunity with the people they care about. People are defining quality time as with people they care about (60%) and doing something they are interested in (40%). 62% of people globally prefer inclusive experiences, which are welcoming to diverse groups of people (68% of Gen Z and 67% of Millennials), and 41% say it’s essential that they can feel accepted and true to themselves when spending quality time with others.

To see the full report of global findings, click here.

Survey Methodology
A 20-minute online survey of 17,895 consumers in 18 countries in five regions worldwide (NAM, EUR, LAC, MEA, Australia)
~1,000 completed interviews per country
The general population, age 18+
Research conducted on behalf of Mastercard Global Foresights, Insights and Analytics by Kantar, December 2020