MMGY: Intent to Travel Is Up 14 percent

Americans’ intent to travel is up 14 percent over 2015, according to MMGY Global’s brand new 2016 Portrait of American Travelers (POAT). Additionally, intent to spend is up by nine points.

The POAT includes responses from 2,948 U.S. adults, who have taken minimum one overnight trip at least 75 miles away from home in the past 12 months. The study measures over 2,000 variables, thoroughly analyzing and revealing American travelers’ perceptions of travel, planning priorities and emerging vacation behaviors and inclinations.

This first of five monthly reports shows strong signs ahead for the travel industry, with MMGY predicting a record number of vacations and new highs in vacation-spending among American travelers in the next 12 months. The market’s intention to vacation during the next 12 months represents a 10-year high that surpasses the pre-recession record. An intention to take more vacations has been indicated by 28 percent of travelers, while only 14 percent reported that they plan to take fewer trips, resulting in a 14-point net positive variance.

The report also takes a deeper dive into traveler segments, with an approach centered on common goals and interests instead of pure demographics. With Millennials representing the largest generation in U.S. history (84 million versus 78 million Baby Boomers), the report identifies new micro-segments that cross between Millennials, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. These include:

HENRYs (High Earner, Not Rich Yet): Travelers with a high, steady cash flow and are ready to spend for quality and service.

GottaGoSOLOs: Married with children but vacation alone to reclaim their independence.

YAHTZEEs (Young At Heart Travelers Zooming Everywhere Enthusiastically): Active retirees who are traveling more and spending more, but are slow to join the sharing economy.

Jet Sweaters: Amateur adult athletes without children who are redefining wellness in travel.

The Brat Pack: Families with children aged 12 and under, who influence vacation-planning decisions.

Look for more about these micro-segments and other research from MMGY Global on Travel Agent’s Trend Watch page in the months ahead.