Three quarters of Americans intend to vacation in the next six months; the majority no longer consider COVID-19 a substantial barrier


Kansas City, MO (March 25, 2022) – With seasons changing and summer vacations drawing near, America’s appetite for travel continues to grow. According to a new study by MMGY Travel Intelligence, 73% of American travelers intend to take a vacation in the next six months, up significantly from 62% one year ago. This is just one of the key findings released this week as part of the research firm’s 2022 Portrait of American Travelers® “Spring Edition” survey. Sharing data collected in February from more than 4,500 respondents, the report examines the demographics, intentions, behaviors and safety perceptions among U.S. travelers.

“Overall, we anticipate that 2022 will be seen as a year of continued growth for the travel industry, with many Americans opting to ‘go big’ with their travels after playing it more conservative the last few years,” said Chris Davidson, EVP of MMGY Travel Intelligence. “Inflation and the recent increase in gas prices may mean that travelers choose to venture a bit closer to home or alter their spending slightly, but the demand for travel is palpable.”

Key findings from the Portrait of American Travelers® “Spring Edition” include: 

  • For the majority of Americans, COVID-19 is no longer a barrier to travel. Moreover, the percentage of vaccinated travelers continues to increase, with 69% of active leisure travelers sharing that they have already received the vaccine – up 4 percentage points from the latest survey in October. Travelers indicating that they will not get the vaccine remains constant at 16%.
  • Among all age groups, younger generations intend to vacation most during the next 12 months, with Gen Zs and Millennials leading the way with an average of 5.0 and 4.1 trips planned respectively.
  • Conversely, older generations intend to invest more on their vacations, with Boomers planning to spend an average of $1,142 per trip. Gen X was the next closest generation at $670 total per trip.
  • In the growing trend of solo travel, 1 in 4 Americans plans to take a trip alone in the next six months. U.S. destinations over-indexing in appeal to solo travelers include three cities in California – Los Angeles, Palm Springs and Anaheim – along with Chicago, Atlanta, Ann Arbor and Kansas City.

In addition to overall traveler preferences and future intent, the “Spring Edition” report also explored three special topics – travel information sources, lodging and sustainability. The study concluded that: 

  • Travelers report using fewer sources for ideas and inspiration in 2022 than they did in 2021, seeking out 4.7 sources on average. The advice of friends and family is the top source for ideas and inspiration across all generations, but beyond that the sources considered vary greatly by age. The use of online travel agencies (OTAs) decreased significantly compared to last year, dropping from 24% to 19%.
  • The study also determined that hotel cleanliness standards are now just as important as room rate and free breakfast in how travelers choose their accommodations. As lodging brands work to differentiate themselves and compete for a traveler’s dollar, cleanliness could be seen as a new measure of luxury, particularly in regard to property air filtration, cleaning protocols, and other areas of health and safety that could drive guest loyalty and shift market share.
  • Finally, in regard to sustainability, 6 in 10 travelers are willing to pay more for travel providers who demonstrate a commitment to environmental responsibility. Moreover, 81% of active leisure travelers indicate that they are willing to change their travel behaviors to reduce overall impact on the environment – a notion supported by the majority of travelers in each generation (Gen Zs at 89%, Millennials at 90%, Gen Xers at 79% and Boomers at 72%).

Overall, the study communicates continued strength and optimism in the domestic leisure travel segment. On March 4, MMGY Travel Intelligence released the findings of a separate study measuring the impact of the war in Ukraine on European travel intentions. The study concluded that 47% of Americans considering a vacation to Europe will wait to see how the situation evolves before they make any plans. The potential for the conflict to spread to other nearby countries was listed as the primary concern by 62% of respondents. 

For more information about the insights from these two studies or to purchase a copy of the Portrait of American Travelers® “Spring Edition,” visit mmgyintel.com. In addition to continuing its observation of the American traveler, MMGY Travel Intelligence will also debut three new studies later this year, capturing the preferences and behaviors in the segments of accessible, business and LGBTQ+ travel. 

About the 2022 Portrait of American Travelers®
MMGY Global’s Portrait of American Travelers® study provides an in-depth examination of the impact of the current economic environment, prevailing social values, and emerging travel habits, preferences and intentions of Americans. Now in its 32nd 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 “Spring Edition” report was obtained from interviews with 4,529 U.S. adults in February 2022. The five 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 first 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 mmgyintel.com or email us at research@mmgyglobal.com.

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 mmgyglobal.com.

Media Contact
Rainey Stoll