Spending on domestic travel could see a boost in the U.S. this year, if recent findings from a quarterly survey of Americans’ travel plans conducted by travel, hospitality and entertainment marketing agency MMGY Global are any indication.
Gauging what the survey refers to as “Traveler Sentiment” — which measures Americans’ interest, time available and personal finances earmarked for travel, as well as current perceptions surrounding travel’s affordability, quality and safety — MMGY reported that its recent Travelhorizons survey found this metric had increased one point from findings the agency reported on a year ago.
More than six in 10 U.S. adults — or 62 percent — said they’ll travel for leisure within the next six months, and Americans collectively said they plan to take an average of 2.5 trips during this timeframe. Both figures remain unchanged from percentages recorded during a previous iteration of the survey conducted in early 2017.
However, nearly a third of respondents — 28 percent — said they now plan to spend more on a vacation within the next six months compared to the same period last year, with only 12 percent reporting that they plan to spend less, yielding a positive difference of 16 points.
Reporting on the survey’s findings, MMGY said this turnaround can be attributed to increases in the perceived affordability of travel as well as gains in personal finances available for vacations.
The recent uptick in domestic travel interest provides some much-needed optimism for the U.S. travel sector, which has seen foreign visits drop in the last year, a phenomenon that many in the industry now refer to as the “Trump Slump.” According to recent National Travel and Tourism Office figures, the U.S. counted 41 million total international visits in 2017, a four percent decline from the same period a year before.
MMGY’s latest findings also come after the agency gauged a five-point decrease in Traveler Sentiment between the first quarter 2016 and 2017’s first quarter.
The Travelhorizons report was conducted by MMGY Global's market research team and polled 2,300 pre-qualified U.S. adults in late January.