Traveling for business and pleasure is picking back up, according to new data from Deloitte and the Mastercard Economics Institute. The former’s summer travel survey shows financial concerns have some staying home, but those who do plan to travel are prepared to increase their budgets. Meanwhile, Mastercard found travel spending is returning to experiences over souvenirs and that the loosening of restrictions is encouraging tourism. Here are the key findings from each report.
Nearly half (46 percent) of Americans are planning a trip involving stays in hotels or other types of paid lodging. Most of these travelers are younger, but those over 55 are also open to travel again via car and plane. About 30 percent of travelers plan to spend more than they did in 2019; high airfares and room rates are the top reason why.
US-based properties, carriers and destinations stand to collect the lion’s share of travel spend, with 67 percent of travelers planning hotel stays and 16 percent planning rental stays.
Just 15 percent of Americans, or 27 percent of travelers, plan to take an international flight.
Global leisure and business flight bookings have exceeded pre-pandemic levels while spending on cruise lines, buses and trains saw strong improvements this year.
By the end of April, global leisure flight bookings surpassed 2019 levels by 25 percent; short- and medium-haul leisure flight bookings were up 25 percent and 27 percent, respectively. Global business flight bookings exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time in March, with long-haul growing double-digits in April. Mastercard says the return to the office was a primary driver.
Experiential spending is now 34 percent above 2019 levels, with the largest spending increases seen in bars and nightclubs (72 percent) followed by amusement parks, museums, concerts and other recreational activities (35 percent).
International tourist spending on experiences grew 60 percent in Singapore and roughly 23 percent in the US. In the UK, spending growth each month in 2022 more than doubled compared to 2019 levels, currently 140 percent for April.
Consumers have also grown more comfortable with group travel, as recent spending levels suggest. Though it remains below 2019 levels, global spending on cruises gained 62 percentage points from January to the end of April. Buses are back at pre-pandemic levels while passenger rail spending remains 7 percent below. In addition, spending on tolls and auto rentals are up nearly 19 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
As travel restrictions loosen, booking has become easier. As a result, the US, UK, Switzerland, Spain and The Netherlands are now the top destinations for tourists globally.