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.