MMGY Travel Intelligence announced its key findings from its 2021 Portrait of American Travelers "Winter Edition" survey.
The research, conducted in October, included data from 4,500 respondents and shows that U.S. travelers have maintained their positive outlook on travel despite a short-term drop in the perception of safety from a Dec. 6 MMGY Global survey.
"As 2022 approaches and travelers begin to embrace a new year of possibilities, it seems that the Delta variant has had only a nominal impact on the willingness to travel," said Chris Davidson, executive vice president of MMGY Travel Intelligence. "We believe we are past serious virus-related barriers in travel, although the emergence of Omicron will have a small short-term effect. Holiday travel is already back to pre-pandemic levels, and we expect Americans to hit the roads and skies with continued passion and positivity in the new year."
The Portrait of American Travelers survey found that 87 percent of Boomers who responded are vaccinated, by far the largest percentage of any generation. Boomers also lead all other generations in travel spending intentions, and plan to spend at least $4,000 on travel in the next 12 months. This is the highest amount reported all year and more than any other generation.
The travel intentions of Boomers have continued to rise over the last three quarters. Boomers who make more than $150,000 are particularly bullish on travel.
Millennials are planning to take the most trips in 2022, leading all other generations. They plan to take an average of 4.4 trips during the next 12 months. Gen-Z plans to take 4.1 trips, Boomers plan on 3.8 trips in the next 12 months and Gen-X is last with just 3.3 trips.
On the whole, those who are vaccinated seem to care more about contracting and spreading COVID-19. However, it doesn't seem to keep them from traveling. In fact, vaccinated respondents are more likely than non-vaccinated travelers to stay in a hotel and to take a flight during the next six months.
the "Winter Edition" report also explored three special topics: online travel agencies (OTAs), loyalty programs and cruises.
Seventy-three percent of leisure travelers visit an OTA website or app on a regular basis for researching or booking travel. All generations say they use them for the same reason--comparing prices and availability.
Fifty-two percent of active leisure travelers say they are members of at least one hotel loyalty program, and 48 percent have joined at least one airline loyalty program. Boomers are the most likely to be members and Gen-Z the least likely.
When it comes to cruises, half of leisure travelers indicated that they were at least somewhat interested in taking a cruise over the next 12 months. Millennials expressed the highest interest at 69 percent, and the Caribbean is the most popular cruise itinerary (81 percent) followed by the Mediterranean at 71 percent.
Overall, the Winter Edition of the 2021 Portrait of American Travelers finds that there is a lot of optimism within the leisure travel market.
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