Some traditional front-runner brands began to lose their dominance this year as travelers’ favorites, according to MMGY Global’s 2013 Portrait of American Travelers.
The report surveyed around 2,500 active leisure travelers, asking them to name the brands they prefer to use on trips. Each respondent was allowed up to three mentions.
Of the airlines travelers rated, American and United had both won favor since the previous year, with each climbing five percentage points in the ranks. Southwest maintained its No. 1 spot, with an impressive 49 percent of respondents citing it as a favorite.
Virgin ranked in the top ten brands for the first time since 2010, with seven percent naming it as a favorite.
The long-time preferred rental car company Hertz continued to lose favor this year to smaller brands, with Enterprise, Avis, and Budget each receiving more mentions than ever. These responses were compiled before Avis bought Zipcar in March for $500 million, but they do reflect some of the consolidation the industry has seen. That consolidation also included AvisBudget’s 2011 acquisition of Avis Europe and Hertz’s purchase of Dollar Thrifty in November 2012. In general this trend has increased car rental prices across the board.
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Not much changed in the lodging sector, where travelers’ preferences kept Marriott firm in its spot at the top of the list, though Hilton’s Hampton Inn brand did show improvement while Comfort Inn dropped.