Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Tourism

U.S. Travelers Plan to Nearly Double Number of Overseas Vacations Vs. 2019

1 year ago

A new survey has found that “affluent” Americans are planning to take nearly twice as many international trips in the next 12 months, compared to before the pandemic. Some demographics are also ready to spend twice as much too.

The 2,000 respondents in a poll, called Portrait of American International Travelers and published by marketing agency MMGY, clearly feel their dollar will take them a lot further for their next trip.

The survey, the third annual national poll of its kind, looked at the travel behaviors, spending habits, preferences and motivators of the respondents, and was carried out in July 2022. However, since then the dollar has considerably strengthened against the euro and sterling.

MMGY describes “affluent” travelers as those coming from an annual household income of $100,000, and as someone who had taken at least one vacation outside of North America during the past three years, and who plans to take at least one vacation outside of North America during the next 12 months.

Those U.S. travelers now plan to take an average of 3.8 international vacations in the next 12 months, up 72 percent from 2.2 in 2019.

While overall interest in foreign travel is up, the number of destinations U.S. travelers want to visit is down compared to 2019.

Europe, the South Pacific, the Caribbean and Canada are among the top destinations cited by U.S. travelers as places they want to visit. As expected, the study noted an overall increase in interest in visiting less-crowded destinations, and those that offer a range of outdoor activities.

As well as the number of trips, the study found boomers were ready to splash out twice as much on each trip ($7,725 vs. $3,564). But millennials seem to have a little more stamina, and plan to go on more international trips than boomers, at 5.7 vs. 1.5, over the next 12 months.

On an average basis, the American travelers anticipate spending a total of $15,364 on international trips in the coming year — a 16 percent increase on pre-pandemic spending predictions.

“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,” said Cees Bosselaar, MMGY Travel Intelligence Europe managing director.

Respondents were selected randomly, and the sample was weighted based on age, gender, ethnicity, household income, geography and education to ensure the data is representative of American high-income households, MMGY said.

The study was also carried out with the United States Tour Operators Association.

Tourism

Taiwan to Resume Visa-Free Entry for Canada, U.S. and Allies from Next Week

1 year ago

Taiwan will be reinstating visa-free entry for visitors from U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and its “diplomatic allies,” from September 12.

However, visitors would still need to quarantine at home for three days and would need to get tested on arrival. The current cap of 50,000 inbound passengers per week would also remain in place. The prevention measures issued by the Taiwan government also includes four days of self-health monitoring for inbound arrivals.

Taiwan plans to extend the visa exemption to more countries. Inbound group tours are still not allowed in the country.

In June, Taiwan shortened the duration of home isolation to three days from seven days, while increasing the cap on inbound arrivals to 25,000 per week. From August 15 onwards, the country lifted its requirement for a pre-arrival polymerase chain reaction test from inbound arrivals. 

Monday’s announcement of the resumption of visa-free free entry by Taiwan’s Central Epidemic Command Center signals the country’s efforts to relax restrictions put in place during Covid while keeping pace with reopening mesaures of Asian destinations.

The center highlighted the need to balance disease prevention efforts and promotion of economic and social activities.

The decision has been made after a comprehensive assessment and in light of the fact that most countries in the world have opened their borders, Victor Wang, head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, said during a press conference on Monday afternoon.

“Border control measures and epidemic prevention measures would be adjusted in a rolling manner depending on the changes in the epidemic situation,” the Taiwan government noted in a statement.

Even as Taiwan has been slowly relaxing restrictions for inbound arrivals, escalating differences with China has had a bearing on its tourism industry.

Sparked by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last month, China, in its biggest-ever military drills in the Taiwan Strait, had deployed scores of planes and fired live missiles near Taiwan.

Some airlines had cancelled flights to Taipei and rerouted others using nearby airspace that had been closed to civilian traffic during these military exercises. While the airspace involved had been comparatively small, but the disruption had hampered travel between Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia.

An earlier Skift story had also highlighted that the Taiwan tensions could drive up travel costs significantly.