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American Travelers Embrace Identity Tourism - 2023 Summer Trends

Chris Davidson, Executive Vice President of MMGY Travel Intelligence, emphasized, "American interest in travel as a whole remains very, very high."

American Travelers Embrace Identity Tourism: Unveiling the 2023 Summer Trends

The American tourism industry is gearing up for another sensational summer in 2023, building on the substantial gains of the previous year, as per MMGY Travel Intelligence‘s latest research. The study, known as the “Portrait of American Travelers,” surveyed over 4,500 U.S. adults, revealing that more than three-quarters of them plan to take a vacation in the next 12 months, with an impressive 48% looking to travel specifically this summer.

Chris Davidson, Executive Vice President of MMGY Travel Intelligence, emphasized, “American interest in travel as a whole remains very, very high.”

Beyond a mere getaway, travel is now becoming an extension of self-identity for most Americans. Over half of the survey respondents (51%) agreed that the places they visit mirror their personalities and values, embracing the concept of “identity travel.”

“This notion of self-expression through travel indicates that Americans are seeking destinations and experiences that align with their unique ideals,” said Davidson. As travelers become more discerning with their choices, marketers must connect with this evolving mindset by conveying their brand values effectively.

Amid the promising outlook for summer travel, inflation and increasing overall travel costs have deterred a notable portion of people from immediate plans. Nearly 1 in 5 adults disclosed no travel intentions at all, a significant rise from just 5% in 2021.

While road trips remain a preferred mode of travel, intentions for them have slightly decreased from last year (72%). Nevertheless, 63% of travelers embarked on road trips in the past year, a historic high in the survey.

International travel intentions remain robust, with Asia-Pacific countries increasingly opening up to American travelers. Three-quarters of active leisure travelers (76%) expressed interest in traveling abroad in the next two years, particularly prominent among Gen Zers (89%) and Millennials (84%).

Hawaii topped the list of domestic travel interests, closely followed by Las Vegas, California, the Florida Keys, New York City, and Orlando. In the international realm, Europe captured the highest traveler interest, followed by the Caribbean, Canada, and Mexico.

Luxury travel has taken a new form, with bespoke experiences gaining popularity. Only a third of travelers earning more than $100,000 per year consider themselves “luxury travelers,” emphasizing the increasing desire for unique adventures that serve as a form of social currency. Three-quarters of respondents valued the memories from vacations more than any material possessions acquired in the last year.

The 2023 Portrait of American Travelers “Summer Edition” offers an in-depth understanding of family travel, travel agent usage, vacation motivations, and other specialized modules, painting an exciting and vibrant picture of the evolving travel landscape in the United States.