The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), an association of travel professionals, has found that Americans are already spending far more on travel than other large discretionary purchases this year (47 percent of respondents), besting home improvement (23 percent) and a new computer purchase (10 percent). Further, younger travelers (both Millennials and Gen-Z) are expected to increase their spending in the coming months as they tick off destinations from their bucket lists (of which 60 percent of respondents have).
Sure, we spent a lot of time dreaming of flying the friendly skies while we were trapped in our homes, and our Insta has the FOMO to match, but 62 percent strongly agree that “There’s no social media substitute for going out and seeing the world.” Further, more than three-quarters of respondents (78 percent) agree that travel is important for their mental health., while 64 percent value it as essential family time.
“These numbers bear out what I hear anecdotally from our members and their clients almost every day,” said ASTA President & CEO Zane Kerby. “More and more, Americans realize there is no substitute on the computer screen for the experience of traveling. This is true for leisure travel as well as business travel. I’m especially excited to see the 40 percent increase in those planning a cruise vacation and the 54 percent increase in business travel.”
Some key findings of the study:
Spend: The number of Americans who intend to spend more on travel has increased 17 percent since late 2022, with 22 percent among younger generations looking to spend more.
It’s a Go: More than 60 percent (63 percent) said they have a definite plan to travel in 2023, with 39 percent having traveled so far this year. Business trips (among self-identified business travelers) were also up by 54 percent in the last six months.
Seeking Help From Experts: Citing complexity, 68 percent agree that planning a trip is more complex now due to restrictions and fees, and 50 percent are more likely to seek the assistance of a professional than previously to plan their dream vacation or navigate the onerous fees.
Heading East?: 30 percent of Americans have some type of international travel plans in 2023 with Millennials and Gen-Z travelers leading the pack, although it may have to wait until 2024 for 42 percent of younger travelers. The top destinations were Italy (53 percent), the Caribbean (52 percent), and Australia (51 percent). When asked about domestic travel, Las Vegas, Orlando, Nashville, and San Diego were most often cited.
Visit asta.org for more information.