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Despite rising costs and changing world events, high-income U.S. travelers intend to take an average of 3.8 international vacations in the next 12 months, according to new research published by MMGY Travel Intelligence.

MMGY Travel Intelligence Sees Rising Interest in Travel Compared to Previous Years

The travel trend statistic, published in MMGY Travel Intelligence’s Portrait of American International Travelers study, is up 72 percent from the intended 2.2 international vacations recorded by the study in 2019. Additionally, the average outbound traveler anticipates spending a total of $15,364 on international trips in the coming year—a 16 percent increase when compared to pre-pandemic spending predictions.

The comprehensive national survey examined data from more than 2,000 respondents, and was presented in collaboration with the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA).

“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, Europe managing director, MMGY Travel Intelligence, in a press release 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.”

Other key findings from the third annual study showed that the number of destinations U.S. travelers want to visit is down from pre-pandemic levels, despite overall interest in foreign travel being up. The top four destinations cited by U.S. travelers as places they want to visit were Europe, the South Pacific, the Caribbean and Canada. The study also noted increased interest in visiting less-crowded destinations and those that offer plentiful outdoor activities.

Examining generational differences, the study found that American Millennials plan to go on more international trips than Boomers (5.7 vs. 1.5 in the next 12 months) though Boomers anticipate spending twice as much on each trip ($7,725 vs. $3,564). The top concerns for Americans traveling internationally were travel disruptions such as flight cancellations or delays, as well as sustainability practices and personal safety issues relating to violence and unrest.

“This study confirms that the sustainability efforts of a travel service provider or a destination are impacting travel decisions, primarily for younger generations,” said Terry Dale, president & CEO, USTOA, in a press release statement. “Sixty-three percent of Millennials indicate that a travel service provider’s focus on sustainability impacts their travel decision-making.” Dale added that USTOA is using its milestone 50th anniversary in 2022 to look “50 years forward” to help its tour operator members initiate and grow sustainable and responsible practices to meet these evolving traveler expectations.

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