Led by Boomers and Millennials, 71% of U.S. adults surveyed plan to take a vacation 

in the next six months


Kansas City, MO (Dec. 14, 2021) – Building on its summer prediction that the travel industry’s recovery will continue far into 2022, MMGY Travel Intelligence has announced the key findings from its 2021 Portrait of American Travelers® “Winter Edition” survey, conducted in October.

Examining data from 4,500 respondents, the report conveys 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, the incidence of U.S. adults planning to travel over the next six months dipped only slightly from the previous quarter, with 71% indicating they intend to take a vacation (compared to 73% last fall). 

“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, EVP 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’s December 6 study also showed that the Omicron variant is more likely to affect the travel decisions of the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated. 

Other key findings from the Portrait of American Travelers® “Winter Edition” survey include: 

  • Boomers and Millennials, especially in affluent households, are the traveler segments expected to drive continued growth in domestic leisure travel in 2022:

    • Eighty-seven percent of Boomers share that they are vaccinated, by far the largest percentage of any generation surveyed. They also lead all generations in travel spending intentions, indicating that they 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.
    • Boomers’ travel intentions have risen each of the last three quarters in spite of Delta variant cases on the rise. In fact, Boomers who make more than $150,000 are particularly bullish on travel, with this segment increasing their trip intentions significantly in this edition compared to fall, even amid the Delta variant news.
    • Millennial households lead all generations in the number of trips planned, expressing intentions to take an average of 4.4 trips during the next 12 months, edging out Gen Zs (4.1), Gen Xers (3.3) and Boomers (3.8).
  • As a whole, vaccinated travelers express a higher level of concern than non-vaccinated travelers about contracting or spreading COVID-19, yet it does not generally 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.

In addition to overall traveler preferences and future intent, the “Winter Edition” report also explored three special topics – online travel agencies (OTAs), loyalty programs and cruises. The study found that: 

  • Three-quarters of active leisure travelers (73%) visit an OTA website or app such as Expedia, Tripadvisor or Travelocity on a regular basis when researching or booking travel. Unanimous by all generations, the most popular reason for using an OTA is to compare prices and availability (66%) across providers.
  • Half of active leisure travelers indicate that they are currently members of a hotel loyalty program (52%) or at least one airline program (48%). Not surprisingly, Boomers, who have typically traveled more, are most likely to belong to either type of loyalty program, while Gen Zs are the least likely to be members.
  • Finally, more than half of active leisure travelers are at least somewhat interested in taking a cruise during the next 12 months. Among all age groups, Millennials express the highest interest (69%) while the Caribbean is the most popular cruise itinerary (81%), followed by the Mediterranean at 71%.

Overall, the study communicates continued strength and optimism in the leisure travel segment. As travelers increasingly accept health risks as manageable due in part to rising vaccination rates, MMGY Travel Intelligence predicts that the next year will be characterized by growth in vacation length-of-stay (LOS) metrics, travel farther from home and a higher proportion of “major vacations” in lieu of more frequent local getaways. At the same time, overall segment growth may be somewhat tempered by rising consumer travel prices, limited availability in high-demand destinations and operational challenges caused by a tight hospitality labor market.

For more information about these insights or to purchase the Portrait of American Travelers® “Winter Edition,” visit In addition to continuing its observation of the American traveler, in 2022 MMGY Travel Intelligence will also debut three new studies, capturing the preferences and behaviors of European, business and disabled travelers.


About the 2021 Portrait of American Travelers®
MMGY Global’s Portrait of American Travelers® study provides an in-depth examination of the impact on the current economic environment, prevailing social values, and emerging travel habits, preferences and intentions of Americans. Now in its 31st year, it is widely regarded as a leading barometer of travel trends and an essential tool for both the development and evolution of brand and marketing strategy. The travel trend information presented in this “Winter Edition” report was obtained from interviews with 4,500 U.S. adults in October 2021. The four generations of adults surveyed are Gen Zs (18–23), Millennials (24–39), Gen Xers (40–55), Boomers (56–74) and Silent/GIs (75+). This is the last of four quarterly reports to be released this year.

About MMGY Travel Intelligence
MMGY Travel Intelligence is MMGY Global’s industry research and insights division, offering proprietary data and research including MMGY Global’s Portrait of American Travelers® as well as DK Shifflet’s TRAVEL PERFORMANCE/MonitorSM, which is comprised of the largest continuous consumer travel database in the industry. The organization’s services are designed to power travel industry decision-makers through consumer insights, travel performance data, and audience modeling and segmentation. To learn more about the extensive collection of research, analytics and strategy services, visit or email us at

About MMGY Global
MMGY Global is the world’s leading integrated marketing firm specializing in the travel, hospitality and entertainment industries. With eight operating brands across the world, the award-winning organization maintains a global communications practice in all marketing channels, serving many of the world’s premier travel and tourism brands. As a company dedicated to the travel industry, MMGY Global strives to create a connected, inclusive and peaceful world by promoting travel as a cultural bridge of understanding. For more information, visit

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