MCLEAN, Va., Oct. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- After six months of restrictions brought on by a global pandemic, it may be no surprise that Americans are missing travel right now. But what is surprising, according to a new study conducted on behalf of Hilton, Americans say travel is their most frequently recalled happy memory, more than special occasions or personal achievements and the majority cite creating lasting memories as a primary motive for trips.
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All this staying at home leads 90% of survey respondents to believe the nation is facing a travel memory deficit that will have long-lasting impact, including greater stress and missed opportunity for special moments with loved ones.
Given this, a majority are already looking ahead to making their next travel memory, as 94% of Americans surveyed are planning to travel again. And two-thirds vow to quit putting off taking trips and make their dream vacations a reality.
"Travel is an unstoppable force, and we know consumers are eager to reconnect with the people and places they love," said Danny Hughes, Executive Vice President and President, Americas, Hilton. "Hilton is ready to welcome guests back with all the assurances they need – best-in-class hospitality, cleanliness and flexibility – to create their new memories whenever they are ready to be out and traveling again."
Now, as the world begins to shift from dreaming to planning and even travel again, Hilton is debuting a new global marketing campaign, "To New Memories." This new campaign encompasses TV ads, online videos and other digital and social content that is intended to encourage travelers to make new memories with Hilton. The video content depicts a series of reconnection moments consumers have been missing, highlighting the new memories waiting to be made with Hilton. "To New Memories" has been rolled out across the globe during the past six weeks. The U.S. creative originally debuted on social media, followed by television commercials and online videos that are airing now.
HOPE LIVES ON
The survey results provide details about how U.S. consumers are thinking differently about travel. With the travel memory deficit at the forefront of consumers' minds, a pent-up demand to travel is bubbling over: 66% of those travelers surveyed will quit putting off special trips they have always wanted to take and almost two-thirds (63%) of those looking to travel again will choose more relaxing travel over adventure travel.
New travel memories are on the horizon for many. According to the survey, eight in 10 (80%) travelers will prioritize creating new travel memories when they choose to travel again. Among travelers who plan to travel again, over one-third of Americans surveyed (39%) plan to travel more than they previously did once travel restrictions are lifted and three in five (62%) will be more adventurous by journeying to brand new places to make travel memories.
Among the results of the consumer survey:
- Collecting Travel Memories: American travelers say making memories with loved ones is one of the most important reasons they travel (63%), second only to traveling for relaxation
- Travel as Self-Care: More than three-quarters (76%) believe their travel memories have helped shape who they are today, while almost one in three (29%) travelers reported their favorite travel memory stands out because they felt like they were their "best self"
- Happy Travelers: Nearly seven in 10 surveyed (69%) say travel has given them lifelong memories; nine in 10 count travel memories as some of their happiest memories; and female travelers are more likely than male travelers to have gathered memories from travel they say they will remember forever (73% vs. 64%)
- Destination: Memories: About seven in 10 (71%) travelers surveyed say their trips have been made memorable by the destination itself
- Travel Buddies are Better: Of those surveyed, nearly three in five (57%) Americans who travel believe that the people who accompany them are what make their trips unforgettable
- Back in the Day: Among a variety of childhood memories, one-third (33%) of Americans surveyed remember those about special trips and travel with their family the most often; more than those who think about memories tied to holiday celebrations or even family traditions
- Intangible Travel Benefits: Close to one in two travelers surveyed said trips have given them an appreciation of nature (47%) or a way to take a break from work or study (46%). A similar number (44%) link travel to improved relationships with their friends and family and believe they've even gained a feeling of gratitude for what they have in their lives (44%)
- Treasured Memories: Among travelers, 54% surveyed said travel memories are more important than their favorite piece of jewelry, while 53% say those memories are more important than their smartphone
- Hotel Happiness: Almost all (91%) travelers surveyed agree hotels help make a trip memorable for them, most notably for being able to wake up next to a view (62%)
…TO MAKING NEW MEMORIES
To help ease the travel memory deficit, Hilton is offering new programs and rewards to make it easier for consumers to plan their next memory including:
- Contactless Arrival: Through the Hilton Honors app and award-winning Digital Key technology, members have the option for a contactless arrival experience. At thousands of participating hotels, guests can bypass the front desk by using their mobile phones to choose their room, check in, unlock their door and check-out. Any guest can easily join the Hilton Honors program and download the free app to take advantage of contactless arrival options.
- Hilton CleanStay: The industry-leading Hilton CleanStay program which was launched in July, sets a new standard of hotel cleanliness and disinfection. The program was created in collaboration with Lysol® and Dettol® maker RB and Mayo Clinic and has been implemented globally across Hilton's 18 brands.
- More flexible reservation and cancellation policies: Hilton hotels offer flexible booking options with individual reservations booked on or after October 1, 2020, able to be changed or canceled at no charge, up to 24 hours before your scheduled arrival day. Some exclusions may apply. Guests should always refer to the property's Rate Details for applicable terms or exceptions, if any, when booking or changing reservations.
- Hilton Honors points and status extensions: Hilton appreciates and supports its most loyal guests; therefore, the Hilton Honors program has been updated to provide greater flexibility for its members and to help them maintain their tier status and Points throughout the remainder of 2020. These adjustments also include extending 2019 member status through March 31, 2021 and 2020 member status through March 31, 2022. All points expiration will be paused through the end of 2020. The expiration date on unexpired Weekend Night Rewards earned on eligible Hilton Credit Cards as of March 11, 2020 and all newly earned Weekend Night Rewards through August 30, 2020 are extended through August 31, 2021. Lastly, all nights earned between January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 will automatically roll over to the 2021 calendar year and count toward 2021-2023 tier status qualification.
- Double rewards: A "Double Rewards" global promotion running from now through December 31, 2020, provides eligible members with the ability to earn double Hilton Honors Bonus Points per stay as well as double-night credits, meaning every night a member stays counts twice towards earning their next tier status, plus even more Points to use toward a future hotel stay. Guests can book their new memories directly with Hilton through any official Hilton website or call center, the Hilton Honors app, at a Hilton property or through an accredited travel agent. Until the end of 2020, guests can take advantage of Hilton's new "Double Rewards" global promotion. Members can register at HiltonHonors.com/DoubleRewards.
- Dream Away: Hilton's Dream Away offer makes guests' next memory making getaway closer than they think. Consumers can save at hotels across the globe and enjoy the flexibility of early check-in, late check-out and early departure, where available, if they need to change their plans. Whether a guest wants to stay close to home or explore a new corner of the world, they can make their getaway dreams a reality with Hilton's Dream Away offer.
To learn more, visit Hilton.com.
*Kelton Global conducted the survey online among 2,030 Americans aged 18+ in the United States during the period of September 7- 14, 2020 and has a margin of error of +/- 2.2%.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 18 world-class brands comprising more than 6,200 properties with more than 983,000 rooms, in 118 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world's most hospitable company, Hilton welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its 100-year history, earned a top spot on the 2019 World's Best Workplaces list, and was named the 2019 Global Industry Leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. In 2020, Hilton CleanStay was introduced, bringing an industry-defining standard of cleanliness and disinfection to hotels worldwide. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the 108 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can't buy, plus enjoy instant benefits, including digital check-in with room selection, Digital Key, and Connected Room. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.