Insight from the Latest Portrait of American International Travelers

Insight from the Latest Portrait of American International Travelers

Luxury traveler in an infinity pool with a glass of wine. (photo via iStock/Getty Images Plus/SHansche)

New research conducted by MMGY Travel Intelligence suggests that international travel will increase among affluent Americans over the next year, with high-earning U.S. households anticipating taking 3.8 international vacations in the next 12 months.

The 2022 Portrait of American International Travelers, which was presented in collaboration with the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), analyzed data from more than 2,000 respondents to determine the figure, which is up significantly from pre-pandemic times, climbing 72 percent from 2.2 in 2019.

What’s more, the study found that the average outbound traveler anticipates spending a total of $15,364 on international trips in the coming year, which is a 16 percent increase compared to pre-pandemic spending predictions.

Interestingly, the research also reveals that the number of destinations U.S. travelers want to visit is down compared to prior to COVID-19. Europe, the South Pacific, the Caribbean and Canada were the top four destinations cited by U.S. travelers as places they want to visit. Americans are also showing interest in traveling to less-crowded destinations and places that offer lots to do outdoors.

When it comes to different generations of affluent U.S. travelers, Millennials (5.7) plan to go on more international trips than Boomers (1.5) over the next year. However, Boomers anticipate spending twice as much on each trip ($7,725 versus $3,564). The study shows that travelers have many concerns when traveling abroad but flight cancellations or delays are the number one worry. Inflation, COVID-19, personal safety in regards to violence and unrest and sustainability are also concerns.

“It’s clear that there is a willingness and growing appetite to travel internationally, but the important thing for marketers to note is that the American traveler looks and acts quite differently than they did before COVID-19,” MMGY Travel Intelligence Europe Managing Director Cees Bosselaar said in a statement. “As international tourism ramps back up, destinations should continue to be mindful of the new concerns and challenges that today’s travelers face throughout the course of their journeys.”

“This study confirms that the sustainability efforts of a travel service provider or a destination are impacting travel decisions, primarily for younger generations,” added Terry Dale, President & CEO of USTOA. “Sixty-three percent of Millennials indicate that a travel service provider’s focus on sustainability impacts their travel decision-making.”

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