Despite economic uncertainty, consumers are not only planning leisure trips but intend to increase their budget for travel, canvassing shows.
The Accenture Consumer Pulse Survey 2023, conducted online and targeted on over 10,000 consumers across 16 countries reveals “that consumers still see travel as an essential part of their lives.”
The evidence? While 85% of respondents believe they are currently living with financial uncertainty, and over half expect this to last more than a year, a large majority (78%) are nonetheless planning holidays and looking to maintain or up their spend on pleasure trips. More than half of those surveyed were planning at least two trips away.
Accenture profiled a ‘resilient consumer’ who is willing to make savings in some non-essential areas and believes their disposable income will stay constant or improve in the next year.
1. Human connection
“After several years of enforced pandemic-related travel restrictions, consumers were reminded that travel is more than a trip away. It’s about human connection. After a year of strong growth for the travel industry, 71% of consumers plan to sustain or increase their current spending on leisure travel in the next year, even while limiting spending across most discretionary categories,” Accenture said.
Consumer priorities appear to centre on togetherness, self-care and environmental vigilance. More than eight in 10 people had increased sustainable shopping behaviours in the last year. Going forward, respondents plan to spend more across eight out of 15 categories (two more categories than in 2022), including areas such as leisure travel and wellness.
More people (63%) were worried about the environment than about their personal finances (56%). The greatest concern though was their national economy (66%). Accenture warned that consumer behaviour could be volatile and unpredictable as a result.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for a company whose business is consumer analysis, Jill Standish, senior managing director and global lead for Accenture’s Retail industry practice, warned against the temptation to ‘overgeneralize’ [sic] about customers, saying that retailers and brands “need to understand the nuances of the consumer as an individual – pay close attention to data and analytics – and use that insight to offer the right product and the right experience at the right price in the right places on the right channels.”
Fellow Accenture senior managing director Emily Weiss, said: “It is about personalisation at scale, maximising the value of micro-moments, meeting guests where they are instead of trying to dictate their path – for example, having the insight to know whether they are looking for self-service or direct contact and then meeting those needs.”