The United States, a market that sets trends on the future of tourism
With post-pandemic records, the great northern country lights the hope of the tourism industry globally, showing that the long-awaited recovery can be accelerated
Different reports released during May reveal the rapid recovery of the US tourism market for the boreal summer and the second half of the year. The data shines a light of hope globally and fuels optimism in the industry at times of great distress.
According to the latest US Travel Association report published on May 26, during April 2021, travel spending amounted to $ 73.9 billion and reflected a 24% drop below April 2019 levels.
Now Almost nine out of 10 American travelers plan to travel in the next six months, a new post-pandemic record.
Three-quarters (74%) feel their employees are willing to travel for business in today's environment, up from 65% last month.
Travel abroad to the US remained 87% below pre-pandemic levels in April, showing virtually no improvement in recent months.
The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) released new findings from its tour operator's Active Member surveys on current passenger booking trends, post-pandemic recovery, and business resumption. The surveys are a key part of the USTOA's ongoing efforts to support and inform its members and the industry during the coronavirus crisis.
According to the survey, eight out of 10 active USTOA members are "enthusiastic" to "cautiously optimistic" for a full resumption of business by the end of 2021: half (49%) are "cautiously optimistic"; 24% are "optimistic" and about 7% are "enthusiastic." In a smaller percentage, 11%, "it is not optimistic"
Two-thirds (64%) of currently operating active members reported that customers only shared positive feedback regarding wellness protocols and did not report any negative impact on the overall travel experience. The remaining third (36%) said that only a small number of clients reported that the wellness protocols in place hindered the experience in some way. Of those currently operating, 65% of the itineraries operated were international and 35% were national.
More than three-quarters (80%) of active members selling US programs have seen an increase in domestic bookings in 2021, while 17% responded that domestic bookings did not increase. The remaining 3% reported that destination passenger reservations in the United States remain the same. At the time of the survey, two-thirds (67%) of USTOA member tour operators sell packaged tours / travel itineraries to US destinations.
Almost half (43%) of respondents with US programs have added new itineraries / tours for 2021 and 17% added additional departure dates on current tours / itineraries in 2021. Another 17% added new itineraries and dates Additional US Departures In 2021 The remaining 23% added no new itineraries or additional departures in the US this year.
Approximately two-thirds (69%) of current USTOA Active Member 2021 bookings are international, the remaining third (31%) are domestic. According to Dale, “It is not surprising that our members are seeing increased demand for travel to the United States based on what we knew of international border reopening at the time of the survey. With more news of planned reopenings from Europe and other international locations, we are likely to see this percentage change again as we move into 2021. "
Looking ahead for 2022 passenger bookings, 83% are international, while that 17% of reserved businesses are conducted in national locations.
An overwhelming 96% of responding tour operators have seen an increase in new bookings in the last 60 days. The remaining 4% said that bookings were unchanged in either direction.
Almost half (44%) of the active members who responded reported that the third and fourth quarters of 2021 have the highest number of passengers booked to travel.
A third (36%) said that the majority of new passengers are booked between the first and second quarters of 2022.
Another 11% mentioned the third and fourth quarters of 2022 as having the most passengers booked to travel.
When asked if booking patterns changed since the pre-pandemic, 84% of tour operators said yes. A third (34%) of those surveyed said that consumers are booking within one to three months of departure, while another third (39%) reported that consumers are booking within seven to 12 months of departure. About 13% said consumers book within four to six months of departure and 11% said consumers book more than a year in advance. Only 3% of members reported that consumers book within a month of departure.
USTOA asked which are the top three international destinations travelers are booking for 2021 (based solely on bookings made this year) and Italy topped the rankings. Ireland and the United Kingdom tied for second, followed by Costa Rica, Egypt, Iceland and Mexico tied for third. Italy was also named the top international destination that travelers are booking for 2022. Germany ranked second, followed by France, Greece and Ireland tied for third.
Another study published by the American Society of Travel Advisors reveals that more than half of travelers are ready to travel now (29%) or within the next three months (25%).
Although 62% would like to go on vacation to the United States, 45% would also like to travel to Europe and 44% would prefer to travel to the Caribbean.
The desired activities have also changed during the pandemic. 53% would like to visit historical places, 49% virgin beaches and sunsets and only 29% have expressed interest in urban destinations.