The State of the American TravelerTM – April Update
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If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that the U.S. economy has been throwing off some seriously mixed signals during the early part of this year. The bull market turns into a bear, then reverses itself. First quarter GDP growth weakens, but now seems likely to be revised upward; with many economists now seeing the second half of the year as one of strong growth. Long troublesome exchange rates flip, possibly even hitting an inflection point where the dollar may become a boost to exports. Meanwhile, recent data shows the domestic service sector expanded in April as new orders and employment both jumped.
Whatever happens during the rest of the year, we know that ours is a consumer driven economy. Consumers account for more than 70 percent of spending, and in the moment are surprisingly bullish about their future leisure travel. Our April The State of the American TravelerTM survey shows travelers cheerful mood is clearly ongoing. Our survey tracks traveler intent to travel and spend in the upcoming year. Both measures reached historic levels this month. The chart below show this enthusiasm, as more travelers are planning to take a greater number of trips in the upcoming year.
Travel Optimism Grows to Record Levels
(% of American Leisure Travelers Expecting to Take More Trips in the next 12 Months)
Not only are American travelers planning to travel more, they’re ready to spend. As the chart below shows, spending expectations are also sky high. More than one third (35.5%) of travelers expect to spend more in the upcoming year than they did in the last one–yet another record.
Travel Spending Expectations Up
(% of American Leisure Travelers Expecting to Spend More on Leisure Travel in the next 12 Months)
As we move into the peak of summer travel season, this optimism bodes very well for the travel industry. Mixed economic signals or not, American travelers seem primed for an excellent season of exploring our many great destinations.