Now that we've entered the new year, it's an ideal time to reflect on the impact the travel and tourism industry has had this past year—and where that takes us moving into 2019. We've gathered some statistics and facts you won't want to miss out on.
According to a recent AARP survey, Americans are booking their trips for 2019 even earlier than in years past. The survey indicates that younger travelers, such as those of the millennial generation, are more likely to use all or most of their vacation time, compared to baby boomers. However, younger travelers are more likely to bring their work with them when they travel.
Those traveling for business are also increasingly extending those trips to include leisure purposes—60 percent in fact, according to Expedia. These types of travelers are now commonly referred to as "bleisure" travelers.
A Skift U.S. Repeat Tourist Survey found that doing new activities in repeat destinations might substitute for a desire for travelers to venture to new places. It also brought to light that repeat travelers venture further outside of popular areas and attractions in a destination when they return, compared to their first visit. On average, repeat travelers spend more than their non-repeat counterparts, but do not respond to traditional marketing the same way as first-time visitors.
The Commerce Department's National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) estimated that travel and tourism rebounded in 2018, increasing 5.7 percent annually after only increasing 0.7 percent annually in 2017. If you're looking beyond just 2019, international visitations are expected to reach 95.5 million by 2023, an average annual increase of 3.7 percent.
The U.S. Travel Barometer report indicated that that 15 percent of international lodging searches were for destinations in the United States—higher than the 13 percent searching for lodging within the U.S. during the same time period last year. Interest in travel to Spain remained strong, with Spain capturing 10.2 percent of international lodging searches in November 2018; France followed, capturing 8 percent of international searches. Interest in travel to Mexico also picked up in 2018; on average, more than 6 percent of all international searches were for Mexico.
To see more statistics, see U.S. Travel Association.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for Groups Today.