According to the latest edition of the research firm's Portrait of American Travelers study, more than three quarters of U.S. adults plan to take a vacation in the next 12 months,
with nearly half of all adults (48%) planning to travel this summer specifically.
Building upon the significant gains from 2022, new research by MMGY Travel Intelligence indicates that the American tourism industry will experience another blockbuster summer in 2023. According to the latest edition of the research firm’s Portrait of American Travelers
study, more than three quarters of U.S. adults plan to take a vacation in the next 12 months, with nearly half of all adults (48%) planning to travel this summer specifically.
“Though certain segments continue to lag, including the meetings/conventions and corporate transient travel categories, American interest in travel as a whole remains very, very high,” said Chris Davidson, Executive Vice President of MMGY Travel Intelligence.
The survey, which examines the behaviors and preferences of more than 4,500 U.S. adults on a quarterly basis, also found that most Americans now regard travel as a direct reflection of their self-identity. More than half of all survey respondents (51%) agreed with the notion that the places they visit say a lot about who they are.
“This notion of self-expression through travel – or ‘identity travel’ – indicates that Americans, now more than ever, seem to be seeking out destinations and activities that best align with their unique ideals and values,” said Davidson. “As American travelers become more discerning with their dollar, marketers should take greater note of this changing mindset, working to clearly articulate and deliver on their brand values to attract those who see life through a similar lens.”
Other key observations from the Portrait of American Travelers
“Summer Edition” follow.
- Despite the strong summer outlook, inflation and rising travel costs overall are causing an increasing number of people to opt out of travel altogether in the short-term. Nearly 1 in 5 adults say they have no travel plans at all, up from just 5% of adults in 2021.
- Traveler interest remains high on cannabis tourism. In fact, more than a third of U.S. travelers stated interest in participating in a cannabis-related activity while on vacation while 31% voiced interest in cannabis effects that could complement and enhance their culinary experiences.
- Road trips reign supreme. Although the survey found that road trip intentions are down slightly compared to this time last year (72%), the category remains extremely healthy as a whole. In fact, 63% of travelers said they embarked on a road trip in the past 12 months – the highest percentage ever recorded in the survey’s history.
- International travel intentions are holding strong as more Asia-Pacific countries increasingly “open up” to American travelers. Three quarters of active leisure travelers (76%) expressed interest in traveling abroad during the next two years, with younger generations leading in this area (Gen Zers at 89% and Millennials at 84%).
- In regards to top destinations, Hawaii leads the way for domestic travel interest, followed closely by top mainstay locales Las Vegas, California, the Florida Keys, New York City and Orlando. Internationally, Europe holds the highest traveler interest, followed by destinations in the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico.
- Finally, bespoke travel is the new luxury travel. Only a third of travelers making more than $100,000 a year consider themselves “luxury travelers.” However, the ability to locate and book an adventure that others cannot is a new form of social currency. In fact, three quarters of travelers surveyed agree that the memories they take from vacations are more valuable than any material item they purchased in the last year.
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