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The Psychology of Travel

What motivates you to travel, liberation, immersion or luxury? The latest research from TripBarometer reveals the psychology behind travelling.

What motivates you to travel, liberation, immersion or luxury? The latest research from TripBarometer reveals the psychology behind travelling.

TripAdvisor® today announced the results of the latest instalment of TripBarometer, focusing on the ‘Psychology of Travel’ which reveals that four out of five Australians want to enhance their perspective while on holiday.

TripBarometer is the world’s largest traveller and accommodation survey1 highlighting country, regional and global travel trends according to more than 53,000 travellers and hoteliers around the world, with 2,351 respondents from Australia. The latest Travel report from  TripBarometer is focusing on ‘Psychology of Travel’ and examines the motivations behind travellers’ holiday choices, traveller emotions at the various stages of a vacation and the post-trip impact of travel.

The Psychology of Travel: What motivates us to travel

The research reveals an understanding of the different psychological needs and motivations that impact people in different scenarios. To get an understanding of the psychology of travel the raveller respondents participating in the study were asked to select two statements that best represented how they wanted to feel from a vacation. The statements each relate to one of eight motivational categories:

  • Liberation
  • Immersion
  • Relationships
  • Harmony
  • Order Enhancing
  • Perspective
  • Luxury
  • Excitement

The results of this approach reveal that ‘enhancing perspective’ is the primary motivation for holiday choices for the majority (71%) of global travellers (78% for Australian travellers), followed globally by ‘liberation’ (62%), whereas ‘immersion’ was also of high importance for Aussies (58%) . ‘Order’ and ‘harmony’ are the least important motivations for travellers, with only 21 percent falling into these categories globally. Likewise, feeling ‘excited’ doesn’t resonate with Australian travellers, with only 21 percent noting it as a motivation for a holiday.

The traveller journey: How travellers feel at various stages of a trip


How do you feel at the different stages of travelling?

This edition of TripBarometer examined which emotions travellers were most likely to feel at the five stages of travel: booking, arrival, during the stay, departure and back at home. Excitement peaks during lead-up and arrival, with travellers feeling most fulfilled upon returning home from a vacation.

Hoteliers have an opportunity to hook travellers when they are excited, and to contribute to their guests feeling more knowledgeable throughout their stay. Australian travellers reported feeling ‘excited’ primarily during the booking phase (66%). As part of the study, hoteliers were asked what actions they took throughout the traveller journey to relate to their guests. Sixty percent of Australian hoteliers say their main priority is to ensure a smooth and efficient process at booking and 40 percent are keen to minimise any potential stress leading up to arrival. However, there is more they could be doing to leverage travellers’ feelings of excitement right from the start by providing local information about the destination and beginning to build a relationship with the guest before they even arrive.

The post-travel impact: how holiday experiences affect everyday life


Do you get the holiday blues?

Travellers often bring home souvenirs from their holidays, but what else? For this wave of TripBarometer, respondents were asked to think back on their travels and reveal what they had been prompted to do as a result of a trip.

Two out of three global travellers report that returning home from a trip has prompted them to plan another vacation. This increases to 84 percent for intrepid Australian travellers, who find holidays spur them to book more. Not only are Australian’s booking more as a result of a holiday, they’re also being inspired to move abroad, with 1 in 10 (11%) making an international move after a trip (compared to the global average of 6%). Over a third globally introduce new foods into their diets, and with Australia regarded as a highly culinary country, it’s no surprise that this increases to more than half (55%). As a result of travelling, Australian millennials are more likely to become more open-minded and tolerant of others (66%), families are more likely to introduce new food into their diets, and couples without children are more likely to become spiritually or religiously connected (14%).

Australian hoteliers are 9 percent more likely than the average hotel to encourage their guests to write online reviews following their stay (66% compared to 57%), and to recommend the hotel to family and friends.  Those hoteliers who see a guest return rate of between 76-100% are more likely to prioritise ‘beginning to build a lasting relationship’ (34%), 38% for Australian hotelierswho see a return rate of over 50%) during the lead up to a guests stay.

Methodology: The TripBarometer study, by TripAdvisor, is based upon an online survey conducted from 17 July to 5 August 2014.

What motivates you to travel?