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Key Takeaways from Future Partners (formally Destination Analysts): October 11th Update on the State of the American Traveler

Oct 17, 2023

The following provides the key takeaways from the October 11th State of the American Traveler webinar presented by Future Partners (previously Destination Analysts)

The presentation covered their research findings on travel loyalty, travel sentiment, marketing travel, community & local tourism sentiment. 

The most significant findings are as follows: 

  1. Travel Loyalty 
    1. 1-in-10 American travelers have travel-related tattoos
    2. Half of it is "Destination Ink" with the largest percentage being for New York state (7.3%)
  2. Travel Sentiment 
    1. Compared a year earlier, travelers are feeling somewhat
      better-off. Affluent, urban and younger travelers are driving our overall sense of financial wellbeing.
    2. There are more travelers saying now is a bad time to spend on travel. Millennial age travelers are the likeliest to feel now is a good time to spend on travel. 
    3. Travel headwinds continue from high prices and spending caution resulting from recession fears. The single biggest impediment to travel right now is high costs. 
    4. Thus far in 2023, travel volume has withstood the pressures of economic anxiety, driven by consumers prioritization on travel. 
  3. Marketing Travel 
    1. Most American travelers are actively travel dreaming and/or planning.
    2. Destination inspiration leans heavily into the internet and email. But age drives where one seeks travel inspiration. 
    3. Americans' trip planning windows have shrunk in the last year.  Just over 6 weeks to plan overnight trips.
  4. Community & Local Tourism Sentiment 
    1. Travel is often the inspiration for the decision to become a resident of a place. Proximity to family, the costs of living and jobs are why we move. 
    2. Half are at least moderately satisficed with their hometown's direction. 
    3. Not quite half feel tourism makes their community a better place to live. 
    4. Over half say tourism is important to their community's economic vitality. 
    5. Positive feelings about tourism are more common than negative. 
    6. 1-in-5 feel their home community has a problem with over-tourism. If they experience over-tourism, it likely matters to them. 

Thank you to Future Partners for publishing this data and making it available for us to share. View the full presentation statistics and findings. 

Brooke Wilson 

Stewardship Initiatives Coordinator