TORONTO — What do women want? The answer to the age-old question is particularly important to travel industry officials, who say 90 per cent of travel decision-makers are female.
“Their perspectives help define the leisure travel industry,” said Dorothy Dowling, Best Western’s senior vice president of Marketing and Sales.
The company released a survey this week, which revealed some differences and similarities between female travellers in Canada and the U.S. — right down to the way they view the selfie. In case you were wondering, only about 42 per cent of female Canadian travellers reported taking one while travelling, compared to 67 per cent in the U.S.
For female travellers who are parents, kids’ needs are almost always the most important factor, according to 61 per cent of U.S. female travellers and 43 per cent of Canadian females.
“We also know that 92 per cent of vacation travel is influenced in the household if there’s young children. So they are having a tremendous impact on the female decision-maker,” Dowling explained at a travel summit in Toronto on Thursday.
That, in turn, can affect hotels’ marketing decisions, making it more appealing for them to partner on promotions with Disney, for instance.
Interestingly enough, it also seems that marriage may lead to increased travel for women. Half the Canadian respondents said they travelled more since getting hitched; 53 per cent of U.S. respondents said the same. Only a fraction had travelled less.
When it comes to booking a trip, more than half of Canadian women check reviews on TripAdvisor, compared to only 39 per cent of American women.
Women in both countries worry about losing personal items and personal security when travelling. That said, those in the U.S. tend to be a bit more concerned about these things than Canadians. They’re also more prone to have their cellphone on them at all times. Canadians, on the other hand, are more likely to leave their valuables in a locked safe.
Women’s spending habits
In general, female travellers like to splurge on activities and excursions above anything else. The majority of U.S. female travellers rank activities and excursions as the number one item they splurge on, followed by lodging or hotel upgrades. They are least likely to splurge on things such as spa treatments.
Canadian females, on the other hand, are slightly more varied in what they like to indulge in, including activities and excursions, eating out and hotel room upgrades.
Both groups agree, though, that they would rather receive an upgrade for a hotel suite (79 per cent) than an upgrade for a first class plane ticket (21 per cent).
Here’s a snapshot of some of the other key differences in travel habits of women in Canada and the U.S.: