What: Heading into 2022, Consumers Are Positive About the Future of Travel
The newly released MMGY Travel Intelligence 2021 Portrait of American Travelers “Winter Edition,” which surveyed some 4,500 respondents last October, shows only a slight dip in intention to travel from the previous quarter, with 71% intending to take a vacation in the next six months (compared to 73% last fall). These findings, which show that American travelers have remained positive about the future of travel, reflects an overall optimistic attitude about travel as 2022 approaches.
Why It Matters: COVID-19 Fear Isn’t Preventing Travelers From Hitting the Road
After nearly two years of changing travel protocols, regulations and border closures due to COVID-19, it seems as if travel intentions are no longer as severely impacted by virus-related restrictions as they once were.
Two generations in particular stand out when it comes to travel intentions: baby boomers and millennials. Affluent baby boomers and millennials will be the drivers of domestic travel growth in 2022. Eighty-seven percent of baby boomers report that they are vaccinated against COVID-19 (the most of any generation surveyed), and they also lead all generations in travel spending intentions, which has risen consistently for the last three quarters. Income is also a factor; boomers with incomes higher than $150,000 have increased their intentions to travel (when compared to the fall iteration of the survey). And when it comes to millennials, they lead all generations in the number of trips planned (4.4 per year) and are also the most likely to take a cruise in the next six months.
We believe we are past serious virus-related barriers in travel, although the emergence of Omicron will have a small short-term effect.
- Vaccinated travelers are more worried about contracting or spreading COVID-19 than non-vaccinated travelers, but they continue to travel (and are more likely to stay in a hotel or take a flight in the next six months).
- According to MMGY Travel Intelligence, this survey shows “continued strength and optimism in the leisure travel segment” as consumers continue to accept COVID-19 travel risks as manageable. The organization believes 2022 will be characterized by growth in consumers’ length of stay, in travel farther from home and in “major vacations” rather than local trips.
What They Are Saying: 2022 Brings “A New Year of Possibilities” for Travelers
“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.”
MMGY Travel Intelligence