April 25th, 2013

CNN’s Global Tourism Research depicts the reality for today’s travellers

International travellers are concerned about safety and security, price and reputation 

Destination websites are the #1 source of travel information

A global study of CNN consumers’ travel perceptions and behavioural trends has revealed that safety and security is of greater concern when choosing an international travel destination, than any other deciding factor – for more than two thirds of global respondents.  

  • 67% say ‘safety and security’ matters most
  • 60% are ‘price’ driven
  • 58% are driven by ‘reputation’
  • 55% say ‘knowledge and availability of information’ matters most
  • 54% are driven by ‘diversity of things to do/amenities’

The survey asked global respondents from over 70 countries, recruited via CNN websites, to identify the key influencing factors in their decision making process, when deciding upon both leisure and business travel destinations.    

Didier Mormesse, Senior Vice President, Ad Sales Research, Development & Audience Insight at CNN International said, “Destination branding has become one of the most competitive aspects of today’s tourism industry and these insights are valuable for countries looking to market themselves as the destination of choice for travellers.”  

“That safety and security is significantly more important for respondents than the cost of travel, even in austere times, is an indicator that, in times of regional unrest, the pendulum has swung. With reputation also a key factor, tourist boards will clearly continue to have a vital role to play in shaping international perceptions of their country to encourage tourism growth,” he added.  

‘Price’ ranks second in travel decision making, reflecting the continuing impact of the economic crisis on consumers.  Yet despite this, the latest UNWTO growth predication figures confirm the resiliency of a buoyant global tourism sector.*   

However, respondents are not just price conscious, they are also discerning. ‘Reputation’ is the third most considered factor for respondents considering travel destinations.   

The survey also revealed how global respondents prefer to gather information prior to travelling.  

  • 50% use four or more main information sources when looking for destinations
  • Destination specific websites lead the way as a source of travel information (57%) with travel content sites (55%) a close second.
  • 55% prefer to rely on recommendations and information garnered from family, friends and colleagues.
  • Whereas for 49% traveler review websites are a top information source for travel 



* According to UNWTO figures international tourism was robust in 2012 with arrivals across the globe hitting the billion mark for the first time in history, having grown by +4%*.  January figures from the UNWTO show trend looks set to continue in 2013 with the organisation forecasting increase of between +3% and +4%.  Source: UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, January 2013 release.   

Editors’ notes  

The ‘Consumer Connect’ series aims to better understand the perception and purchasing behaviour of CNN brand users towards a particular sector. The CNN ‘Consumer Connect:Travel & Tourism’ survey was carried out between October and December 2012 and conducted by Ipsos.  

‘Consumer Connect: Travel & Tourism’ surveyed 3,106 respondents from over 70 countries worldwide, recruited via CNN websites. 69% were male and 31% female with an average age of 40.The main areas covered included travel behaviour and activities, decision making factors, cultural events’ impact on travel, outlook on 2013 and hotels brand data. This is the 14th edition of the ‘Consumer Connect’ series.  

Contact: Syreeta Clarke
Tel: +44 207 693 0662
E-mail: syreeta.clarke@turner.com