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MMGY GLOBAL Acquires Leading Travel Syndicated Research and Insights Firm D.K. Shifflet & Associates (07/2016) Download
Leisure Travel Expected To Increase this Winter (11/2015) Download
Outlook on Leisure Travel, 2015 Marketing Outlook Forum (10/2015) Download
From Millennials to GI/Silent - All Generations Use Airbnb and VRBO (10/2015) Download
Consumer Behavior Impacts Financials (10/2015) Download
Fall 2015 Leisure Travel Expected to Break Records (09/2015) Download
Frequently Asked Questions

I frequently hear the term "sample size". Can you explain what this means?

Sample size is the base on which the data are analyzed. Generally it is the number of people who responded to a survey, but in the case of travel, it may also be the number of Trips or Stays, particularly if these are the "population" you are counting or describing.

I am in a big state and my CVBs are concerned that if they are the second or third destination on a trip their visitation is under represented. Is this true?

Not in the DKSA data where information is collected for each destination visited (Stays) on a trip including the purposes of the stay and the activities participated in.

How does DKSA know the sample they use is representative of the U.S. traveling population?

This question has a two part answer. First, we survey a national representative sample of adults. This sample includes both travelers and non-travelers. Because we include non-travelers, we can determine the proportion of the total U.S. population who is traveling.

Second, to ensure the incoming sample remains representative, it is re-balanced each month against the U.S. population on gender, age, education, income, and residence geography.

Why does DKSA use only online data collection method instead of both mail and online?

DKSA's TRAVEL PERFORMANCE/MonitorSM is a comprehensive study measuring the travel behavior of US residents. DKSA contacts 50,000 distinct U.S. households monthly and has done so since 1991. DKSA is able to provide current behavior and long term trended analyses on a wide range of travel.

DKSA data are collected using an online methodology employing KnowledgePanel®, an address based sample panel offered by Knowledge Networks. The sample is drawn as a national probability sample and returns are balanced to ensure representation of the U.S. population according to the most recent U.S. Census. Key factors used for balancing are Origin State, Age, Income, Education, Gender, Ethnicity/race and return rates. The Knowledge Networks sample is used to create benchmark weights which are applied to surveys returned from other managed panels used by DKSA.

Both traveling and non-traveling households are surveyed each month enabling DKSA to generate the best estimate of travel incidence (volume) within the total U.S. population. Among those who have traveled (overnight in the past three months, and daytrips in the past month) details of their trip(s) are recorded for each month. This overlapping, repeating monthly approach boosts the observed number of trips for each travel month and controls for seasonality and telescoping biases. "Travel" is defined as either an overnight trip defined as going someplace, staying overnight and then returning home or as a day trip defined as a place away from home and back in the same day. Respondents report travel behavior for each stay of each trip; an approach that enhances reporting for specific travel events, activities and spending.

A wide variety of general travel information is collected including travel to destinations at a city level, hotel stayed in, purpose of stay and activities, expenditures, mode of transportation, party composition, length of stay, travel agent and group tour usage, satisfaction and value ratings, and demographics, including origin markets.

Several questions are asked as open-ends to ensure that the responses are not influenced by a pre-listed set of response categories. Each respondent identifies the actual destination visited with an open-end response. This is particularly significant for obtaining accurate data for smaller cities and counties and representing total travel. This increases time and expense to accurately capture these responses but quality requires it.

Extensive coding lists are updated regularly to ensure that all data is recorded accurately. DKSA's quality control committee conducts bi-monthly meetings to review survey results and examine methods to maintain and improve quality control.

How does DKSA define its hotel segments?

Breaking the Hotel/Motel Industry into mutually exclusive segments allows greater discrimination of behavior and flexibility. To define the segments, chains are clustered by business/leisure mix, competitive set and room rate. Small Chains and Independents (SC/I) are clustered by room rate. Every year room rate ranges are re-evaluated to determine whether room rate ranges need to be increased. Following is the three and six segment breakdown:

Luxury Upscale Upper Moderate Moderate Lower Moderate Budget
Fairmont Hotel Adams Mark AmeriSuites Ameri Host Inn AmericInn Best Inn
Four Seasons Club Med Clarion Baymont Comfort Inns Budget Host Inn
Helmsley Hotel Crowne Plaza Compri Best Western Days Inn Crossland Suites
Inter-Continental Disney Country Inns & Suites Candlewood Suites Ext. Stay America Econo Lodge
Loews Hotel Doubletree Courtyard Comfort Suites Homestead Studios Inn Town Suites
Nikko Hotels Embassy Suites Four Points Drury Inn Ramada Limited Knights Inn
Preferred Hawthorn Suites Hilton Garden Inn Fairfield Inn Red Roof Microtel
Ritz Carlton Hilton Holiday Inn Hampton Inn Sleep Inns Motel 6
Sofitel Holiday Inn Select Lexington Suites Hotel Indigo Studio Plus Rodeway Inn
Steigenberger Holiday Inn Novotel Holiday Inn Exp. Sun Suites Studio 6
W Hotels Homewood Suites Quality Suites Homegate Studios The Hearthside Suburban Ext. Stay
SC/I Hyatt Ramada Howard Johnson Travelodge Super 8
  Marriott Hotels Red Lion La Quinta SC/I Thriftlodge
  Oakwood Apt. Shilo Mainstay Suites   Villager Lodge
  Omni Welleslay Inn Quality Inn   SC/I
  Outrigger Wingate Springhill Suites    
  Radisson Wyndham Garden Staybridge Suites    
  Renaissance SC/I TownPlace Suites    
  Residence Inn   SC/I    
  Summerfield Suites        
  Sumner Suites        
  Woodfin Suites        
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