Travel activities and motivations survey — U.S. travel market

Fine Dining and Spa Visits While on Trips of One or More Nights

Full report available in pdf format

A Profile Report — August 27, 2007
Executive summary

Over the last two years, 25.5% (56,185,945) of adult Americans went fine dining or visited a spa while on an out-of-town, overnight trip of one or more nights. Dining at a high-end restaurant (19.0%) was the most popular activity, followed by dining at a high-end restaurant with an international reputation (12.8%) and making a day visit to a health and wellness spa (5.7%). 14.1% (7,904,776) of those who went fine dining or visited a spa reported that this activity was the main reason for taking at least one trip in the past two years.

Relative to the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler, those who went fine dining or visited a spa while on trips tend to be married without dependent children living at home. This affluent segment is well-educated (68.8 % have a university or postgraduate degree) with above-average household incomes ($91,604). They are over-represented in Alaska and the Pacific region of the United States. They are also over-represented among those living in large cities (population 2 million or more).

Over the past two years, those who went fine dining or visited spas on trips traveled more frequently than the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler and they were somewhat more likely to have taken a trip to Canada (20.3% versus 14.6%). The most common Canadian destinations were Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, however they are over-represented among U.S. visitors to all Canadian provinces and territories.

Relative to the average U.S. Pleasure Traveler, those who went to fine dining and visited spas while on trips were more likely to engage in a wide variety of culture and entertainment activities. The large majority went shopping, visited historical sites, museums and art galleries, and went to casinos, live theatre and comedy clubs while on trips. They were also very active in outdoor activities including wildlife viewing, golfing and sailing and surfing. They tended to stay at seaside, lakeside or riverside resorts. This segment’s interest in fine dining is also evident in their cultural pursuits (e.g., wine, beer & food tastings) and the types of accommodation they have stayed in (e.g., country inn or resort with gourmet restaurant). They were also more likely than average to take tours and cruises of all types. This segment seeks vacations that are novel, intellectually stimulating, offer lots to see and do and allow them to be pampered.

The large majority used the Internet to plan (80.3%) and book (62.3%) travel in the past two years. They are avid consumers of travel-related media and can also be targeted through lifestyle magazines (e.g., city living magazines), cultural media (e.g., jazz radio stations) and business media (e.g., business magazines).