2022 Travel and Tourism Statistics

By Kendra Lusty | Updated on Mar 29, 2022 12:47:38 PM

It's 2022 and the travel and tourism statistics are pouring in as companies everywhere strive to understand a not-quite-yet-post-pandemic travel climate.

2021 set the travel industry on the road to recovery, and many are hopeful that 2022 will take it the rest of the way. Recent statistics show that not only are people planning to travel, they're ready go big, spending all their built up demand and savings on trips that are longer, further from home and more extravagant than before.

Is it any wonder that when it comes to the best corporate discount programs, association member benefits, white-label rewards programs, and membership perks in general, discounted travel is often among the most hotly pursued additions to the mix. 

To better understand today’s traveler, we at Access have compiled statistics from research studies by travel and tourism related sources. This article is for statistics published in 2022. You may see some statistics talking about 2021 as a whole. This is because studies analyzing the entire previous year are released throughout 2022, and they can provide important context for this year's numbers. 

As always, you can find all these and more from recent years in our Travel and Tourism Statistics: The Ultimate Collection.

Most of these stats are focused on Americans who travel – though other nationalities may creep into the mix from time to time. We've provided source links for each statistic. Sometimes you’ll find the data conflicts with other sources - so we’ll leave it up to you to decipher which is most accurate.

We'll keep this list updated regularly with the latest and greatest. If you know of a stat we're missing, or want your own research included in our collection, leave us a note in the comments. Enjoy!

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Travel Costs: How Much People Spend

  • Americans are more willing to splurge on travel plans in 2022: 15% will upgrade rooms or flights, 16% will visit bucket-list destinations, 32% will splurge on the things that take a trip from good to great (Expedia)
  • Travelers age 18-34 are the most likely to go big on their next trip (80% compared to 56% of travelers over 50) (Expedia)
  • Gen X travelers are the most likely to splurge on a high-end restaurant (18%, compared to 16% overall) (Expedia)
  • In 2021, premium economy ticket prices were around 290% more expensive than economy tickets, compared to pre-pandemic when they were 430% more expensive (Expedia)
  • 68% of Americans are planning to go big on their next trip (Expedia)
  • 40% of US travelers are more willing than ever to splurge on their future travels (Expedia)
  • Global travel and tourism levels are projected to reach pre-pandemic levels in 2022, contributing nearly $2 trillion to the US economy (WTTC)
  • U.S. domestic travel & tourism spending is forecast to reach more than $1.1 trillion for the year, surpassing pre-pandemic levels by 11.3% (WTTC)
  • International traveler spending in the U.S. could reach $155 billion which is a growth of $113 billion, compared to 2020, though it would still be slightly below (14%) 2019 levels (WTTC)
  • Employment travel and tourism could surpass pre-pandemic levels, reaching nearly 16.8 million jobs, which is above pre-pandemic levels by almost 200,000 jobs (WTTC)
  • Airline losses from 2020-2022 could reach $200 billion (IATA)
  • After reducing costs in 2021 by 34%, expenses are expected to rise again in 2022 due to expanded operations and higher fuel prices, averaging only 15% lower than pre-pandemic levels (IATA)
  • Boomers plan to spend the most of any generation: at least $4,000 on travel in the next 12 months (MMGY)
  • With the rising price of fuel, domestic flight prices rose 36% in March 2022 from the beginning of the year to reach an average price of $300 (Bloomberg)
  • The 2022 travel price index rose 12%, mostly driven by a 44% increase in motor oil (US Travel)
  • The January 2022 travel price index was 11.6% higher than 2019 levels (on par with consumer prices overall) (US Travel)
  • In January 2022, travel spending declined to $79 billion, this is down from $92 billion in December and down 11% from January 2019 levels (US Travel)
  • 50% of travelers would not pay extra for plane fare that offers free cancellation, 17% would pay up to $20 more, 16% would pay $20-$49 more and 9% would pay $50-$99 more (Morning Consult)
  • 56% of travelers would not pay extra for plane fare from a company that prioritizes pandemic safety, 17% would pay up to $20 more, 13% would pay $20-$49 more and 9% would pay $50-$99 more (Morning Consult)
  • 51% of Americans who traveled in the spring of 2021 plan to spend more when they travel in 2022, 23% plan to spend significantly more (Trip Advisor)
  • Average spend per booking for US travelers in spring 2022 is up 87% year-over-year (Trip Advisor)
  • American travelers are spending 29% more on their average booking in 2022 than they did in 2019, this is despite staying an average of 3.7 days, down from 4.4 days in 2019 (Trip Advisor)

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Traveler Demographics: A Profile of People Who Travel

  • Of travelers who subscribe to travel related paid subscriptions, 62% are male and 38% are female (Trip Advisor)
  • Of American travelers who subscribe to a travel related paid subscription program, 11% are between the ages of 18-24, 26% are 25-34, 22% are 35-44 and 25% are 55+ (Trip Advisor)
  • Millennials are planning to take the most trips of any generation: an average of 4.4 trips in the next 12 months (MMGY)
  • 52% of active leisure travelers are members of at least one hotel loyalty program, and 48% have joined at least one airline loyalty program (MMGY)
  • Millennials are 11-percentage-points more likely to stay at a chain hotel than the general population (Morning Consult)
  • Travelers with an income of less than $50,000 are the least likely to say price is a top priority (Morning Consult)
  • 42% of US Adults who took more than 3 business trips per year pre-pandemic expect to never travel for business again, 14% expect to take a business trip after more than a year, 10% within 7-12 months, 13% within 4-6 months, 13% within 1-3 months and 7% in less than a month (Morning Consult)
  • More employed travelers anticipate taking a blended trip (combining business and leisure travel) in the next year: 40% with an even split between business and leisure, 40% blended primarily business and 44% blended primarily leisure. 41% of travelers anticipate taking a business only trip this year and 76% taking a leisure only trip (Morning Consult)
  • Millennials are the most likely to stay at a hotel in the next 3 months at 39%, followed by boomers (28%), Gen X (23%) and Gen Z (9%) (Morning Consult)
  • 75% of travelers who plan to stay in a hotel in the spring of 2022 are vaccinated and 16% are unvaccinated (Morning Consult)
  • 6% of all US adults will stay in a vacation rental in the next 3 months (Morning Consult)
  • 20% of travelers with travel plans in the next 3 months expect to stay in a vacation rental (Morning Consult)
  • Millennials are the most likely to stay in a vacation rental at 46%, followed by Gen X (17%), boomers (16%) and Gen Z (21%) (Morning Consult)
  • US adults who have imminent travel plans are more likely to want precautions from travel brands (Morning Consult)
  • Travelers predict they will next travel for leisure in 1 month (11%), 1-3 months (22%), 4-6 months (22%), 7-12 months (13%), in more than a year (19%) and never (12%) (Morning Consult)
  • Travelers of all demographics are more comfortable traveling now than they were during the height of the Omicron outbreak, with high income earners and previous travelers reporting feeling the most comfortable (Morning Consult)
  • In March 2022, more than half of US adults said they would travel for leisure in the next 6 months, up 6 percentage points from January 2022 (Morning Consult)
  • Travelers who traveled 3 or more times a year before the pandemic (who are likely to be millennials and high income earners) are the most likely to be planning a trip soon (Morning Consult)
  • While travelers in the US and many European countries are more confident about taking a leisure trip in the next 6 months, many East Asian travelers are less confident. For example, from October 2021 to March 2022: (Morning Consult)
    • US travelers saw a 5-percentage-point increase in confidence (from 50% to 55%)
    • German travelers saw a 17-percentage-point increase in confidence (from 46% to 63%)
    • UK travelers saw a 13-percentage-point increase in confidence (from 44% to 57%)
    • China travelers saw a 10-percentage-point decrease in confidence (from 47% to 37%)
    • Japan travelers saw a 6-percentage-point decrease in confidence (from 33%) to 27%)
  • 14% of all US adults will travel by plane in the next 3 months (Morning Consult)
  • 41% of people with travel plans in the next three months expect to fly (Morning Consult)
  • Millennials are the most likely to take a flight at 35%, followed by boomers (27%), Gen X (21%) and Gen Z (16%) (Morning Consult)
  • 83% of travelers who plan to fly in spring of 2022 are vaccinated and 11% are unvaccinated (Morning Consult)

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Travel Destinations: Where People Go When They Travel

  • The top 3 destinations for outdoor enthusiasts because of national parks and natural wonders are: 1. Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica 2. Jim Corbett National Park, India and 3. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. The top US destination for outdoor enthusiasts is Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska (TripAdvisor)
  • The top 3 destinations for food lovers because of restaurants and restaurants and foodie experiences are: 1. Rome, Italy 2. London, UK and 3. Paris, France. The top US destination for food lovers is New York City, New York (TripAdvisor)
  • The top 3 destinations for big city lovers are: 1. Dubai, United Arab Emirates 2. London, UK and 3. Rome, Italy. The top US destination for big city lovers is Las Vegas, Nevada (TripAdvisor)
  • The top 3 destinations for sun seekers because of pristine beaches and clear waters are: 1. Cancun, Mexico 2. Bali, Indonesia and 3. Crete, Greece. The top US destination for sun seekers is Oahu, Hawaii (TripAdvisor)
  • The top 3 destinations for skiers are: 1. Zermatt, Switzerland 2. Jackson, Wyoming and 3. Banff, Alberta (TripAdvisor)
  • Secluded mountain / rural escapes and waterfront getaways are the most popular vacation rentals of 2022 (Evolve)
  • Only 15% of travelers booking vacation rentals are headed to urban areas in 2022 (Evolve)
  • 27% of travelers favor international trips despite restrictions still in place (Evolve)
  • There was a 4% rise in international tourist arrivals in 2021 from the previous year, meaning it was still down 72% from pre-pandemic levels (UNWTO)
  • International tourism rebounded moderately in the second half of 2021, with international arrivals down 62% from pre-pandemic levels (UNWTO)
  • The pace of international tourism recovery was uneven due to varying degrees of restrictions, vaccination rates and traveler confidence. Europe recovered 19% over 2020 and the Americas recovered 17%, while Asia and the Pacific arrivals fell 65% below 2020 levels (UNWTO)
  • 71% of travelers who plan to stay in a vacation rental are vaccinated and 20% are unvaccinated (Morning Consult)
  • 7 of the 10 fastest growing destinations for spring 2022 (based on YOY growth) are outside the US (Trip Advisor)
  • Paris, London and Rome are the top three trending international travel destinations for spring 2022 (Trip Advisor)
  • Orlando, Florida will welcome the most visitors overall in spring 2022, and Hawaii will see the greatest YOY growth from spring 2021, likely the result of relaxing its travel restrictions (Trip Advisor)
  • The top 5 most popular spring travel destinations are: Orlando, Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Cancun, Mexico; Key West, Florida; Miami Beach, Florida (Trip Advisor)
  • The top 5 fastest growing spring travel destinations are: Honolulu, Hawaii; Paris, France; Lahaina, Hawaii; London, United Kingdom; Rome, Italy (Trip Advisor)

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Reasons & Decisions: Why People Travel & How They Decide

  • The most popular reasons for travel cited by American travelers include: rest and relaxation (51%), escaping day to day life (49%) and visiting family and friends (44%) (Trip Advisor)
  • 34% of travelers would be significantly less likely to travel if scientists determine Omicron is more resistant to current vaccines, 32% if scientists determine Omicron is more easily transmitted (MMGY)
  • Vaccinated travelers are on average more cautious than unvaccinated travelers (MMGY)
  • Business travel sentiment improved in February 2022 to 89% (US Travel)
  • Nearly 9 in 10 companies are planning business travel in the next 90 days (as of Feb 2022) (US Travel)
  • 82% of American travelers are excited to travel in the next 12 months—the highest level since the start of the pandemic (US Travel)
  • 82% of business travel organizations felt their employees were willing to travel in February 2022, up from 54% in January (US Travel)
  • 40% of US travelers want the feeling that they have made the most out of their trip (Expedia)
  • 37% of US travelers admit to being less spontaneous since the onset of COVID-19, but 25% are willing to be more spontaneous and another 26% are aiming to be more flexible this time around (Expedia)
  • 24% of travelers plan to spend less time on their devices and be more present (Expedia)
  • 27% of travelers aim to spend more time at their destination in order to fully experience all it has to offer (Expedia)
  • Of travelers who combine business and leisure travel into a trip consider this a major motivating factor: (Morning Consult)
    • Makes the trip more fun (46%)
    • Less expensive fares because of flexible timing (43%)
    • Visit friends and family more often (43%)
    • Travel to places you couldn’t otherwise (44%)
    • Save on costs because employer covers part (43%)
    • Earn more loyalty/rewards points (37%)
  • 45% of the blended (business and leisure) trips planned in the next 12 months will be 2-3 days in length, 34% will be 4-6 days, 14% will be 1-2 weeks and only 5% will be longer than 2 weeks (Morning Consult)
  • Fast and free Wi-Fi is the most preferred amenity by travelers for “workcations” (Morning Consult)
  • Travelers over 40 are nearly 4x as likely to book trips longer than 1 week, and 5x as likely to book trips longer than 2 weeks than travelers under 40 (Evolve)
  • 54% of travelers under 40 prefer trips 3-4 nights in length (Evolve)
  • Despite pandemic uncertainty, only 4% of travelers don’t plan to travel in 2022 (Evolve)
  • 50% of travelers cite flexible cancellation/rebooking policies as a top factor in their 2022 travel decisions – much more than the 23% who prioritized cleanliness (Evolve)
  • 80% of travelers are actively moving forward with 2022 travel plans (Evolve)
  • Of travelers with 2022 travel plans, 47% say they won’t consider cancelling until much closer to their trip dates and 32% plan to travel no matter what happens (Evolve)
  • 86% of respondents plan to book a vacation rental in 2022, and another 14% said “maybe” (Evolve)
  • 59% of travelers are booking trips 2-5 months in advance, compared to less than 2 month in advance in 2020 and 2021 (Evolve)
  • 62% of travelers plan on taking 3 or more trips in 2022 (Evolve)
  • The average trip length will likely be 5-7 nights in 2022, compared to 3.8 nights in 2020 and 2021 (Evolve)
  • 16% of all US adults will stay in a hotel in the next 3 months (Morning Consult)
  • 49% of US adults who have travel plans in the next 3 months expect to stay at a chain hotel (Morning Consult)
  • 53% of Americans plan to travel in the spring of 2022, 39% plan to take 2 or more trips (Trip Advisor)
  • 35% of Americans reported traveling in the winter of 2021 (Trip Advisor)
  • Often a travel business’ loyalty program is worth more than the brand itself. For example, AAdvantage, American Airlines’ passenger loyalty program is valued between $19.5 - $31.5 billion compared to American Airlines which is valued at $6 billion (Catalyst)
  • Travel and hospitality loyalty programs (Catalyst)
  • 80% of travel and hospitality marketers say their organization has a loyalty program (Catalyst)
  • The average tenure of travel and hospitality loyalty programs is 6.5 years (Catalyst)
  • 1/3 of travel and hospitality loyalty programs have undergone a recent refresh (Catalyst)
  • 2/3 of travel and hospitality marketers feel they use loyalty best practices in running their programs (Catalyst)
  • 77% of travel and hospitality loyalty programs offer transactional rewards, such as the ability to earn and redeem points (Catalyst)
  • 69% of travel and hospitality loyalty programs offer member-only discounts (Catalyst)
  • 61% of travel and hospitality loyalty programs offer rewards focused on access and personalization, like priority or exclusive access to the best rooms, seats or amenities (Catalyst)
  • 59% of travel and hospitality loyalty programs offer personalized gift recognizing significant dates, like the member’s birthday (Catalyst)
  • 1/3 of travel and hospitality brands that aren’t leading the industry in loyalty have no loyalty program at all, though 21% of those brands say they will have one in the future (Catalyst)
  • 2/3 of the travel and hospitality industry’s leading loyalty programs use personalization methods, while only 48% of the industry’s non-leading loyalty programs do (Catalyst)
  • 33% of Americans who won’t travel in 2022 say it’s because of possible travel restrictions, 25% because they are concerned about getting exposed to COVID-19 and 20% because enhanced safety precautions would make their trip less enjoyable (Trip Advisor)
  • 70% of Americans use an establishment’s cleanliness as an important factor in travel decision making (Trip Advisor)
  • 63% of American travelers would like to see safety measures at hospitality businesses continue even after COVID-19 cases have dropped worldwide (Trip Advisor)
  • 52% of American travelers believe it’s more important that they spend time researching their travel plans before booking than it was before the pandemic (Trip Advisor)
  • 17% of American travelers subscribe to a travel related paid subscription program, and an additional 23% would be open to joining in the future (Trip Advisor)
  • US travelers would be motivated to join a travel related subscription program with hotel or flight rate deals and special offers/discounts (36%), cash back rewards on travel bookings (36%), hotel perks and special offers like free breakfast, late check outs, etc. (32%) and travel insurance or free airline status upgrades (about 25%) (Trip Advisor)
  • Travelers’ biggest concerns that make them less likely to travel include: concern about others’ behavior (51%), a loved one’s health/safety (48%), concern about how COVID-19 is affecting society (47%), personal health/safety (47%), COVID-19 quarantine requirements (46%), personal financial situation (37%) and expectations to report in-person to job (29%) (Morning Consult)
  • The most commonly sited reasons for leisure travel by US adults included: (Morning Consult)
    • to relax (56%)
    • to spend time with friends and family (56%)
    • to escape/get away (55%)
    • to experience adventure (27%)
    • to improve mental health (27%)
    • to seek out cultural experiences (19%)
    • to check a location off a bucket list (15%)
    • to spend time on one’s own (14%
    • to attend a specific event (13%
    • to experience luxury (9%)
    • to improve physical health (8%)
  • International traveler’s reasons for leisure travel varied by reason. For example, more German travelers were motivated by relaxation (77%) and more French travelers were motivated by wanting to escape or get away (68%) (Morning Consult)

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Travel Activities: What People Do When They Travel

  • Half of leisure travelers are at least somewhat interested in taking a cruise in the next 12 months (MMGY)
  • 41% of US travelers are seeking excitement/exhilaration on their next trip (Expedia)
  • 11% of travelers are willing to try daring or high-adrenaline activities (Expedia)
  • 24% of travelers are looking for an unforgettable night out (Expedia)
  • 21% of travelers are most excited to try experiences they would usually never do, like: sleeping under the stars (19%), travelling alone (17%), skinny-dipping (11%) or having a vacation romance (10%) (Expedia)
  • 61% of travelers are most interested in outdoor activities (like hiking, biking and kayaking) and wellness/relaxation experiences (Evolve)
  • Travelers over 40 are more likely to travel with a significant other or multiple generations of family. Travelers under 40 are more likely to travel with a group of friends or solo (Evolve)
  • When planning trips for 2022, US travelers feel that “new” is important: (Trip Advisor)
    • Seeing new places (75%)
    • Having new experiences (71%)
    • Going out to restaurants/trying new food (69%)
    • Meeting new people (35%)
  • 34% of American travelers said it’s more important now than before the pandemic that they choose a destination where they can immerse themselves in “authentic local experiences” (Trip Advisor)
  • 30% of American travelers said it’s more important now than before the pandemic that they pack as many activities into their vacation as possible (Trip Advisor)
  • 34% of American travelers will visit a beach in 2022, 13% will go on shopping trips, 18% will go camping or glamping, 12% are planning a foodie or wine tasting tour and 6% are planning a spa trip or wellness retreat (Trip Advisor)
  • About 20% of travelers worldwide plan to take more guided cultural activities than they did in 2019 (Trip Advisor)
  • 30% of American travelers are planning more self-guided cultural activities and 22% are planning more guided cultural activities than they did in previous years (Trip Advisor)
  • 45% of Americans said they’re looking to experience something new and unique on their next trip (Trip Advisor)
  • The top five trending experience categories Americans are booking for spring 2022 include: 4WD, ATV & off-road tours, day trips, cultural tours, snorkeling and wine tasting/winery tours (Trip Advisor)
  • When booking hotels, the top 3 amenities travelers searched for were: pool, bar/lounge and restaurant (Trip Advisor)
  • 44% of travelers are interested in road trips, 39% in beach trips and 30% in shopping trips (Trip Advisor)

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Other Travel Statistics

  • US airlines are projecting 150% as many passengers to fly in 2022 as did in 2021 (IATA)
  • 3.4 billion passengers are projected to fly in 2022, up from 2.3 billion in 2021, but still down from 4.5 billion in 2019 (IATA)
  • In 2022 overall demand for flights is expected to reach 61% of pre-crisis (2019) levels. Capacity is expected to continue to increase faster than demand, reaching 67% of pre-crisis levels for 2022 (IATA)
  • In 2022, demand for domestic flights is expected to reach 93% of pre-crisis (2019) levels (IATA)
  • In 2022, demand for international flights is expected to reach 44% of pre-crisis (2019) levels (IATA)
  • Air travel in January 2022 (measured in RPKs) was up 82.3% compared to January 2021, but down 4.9% compared to the previous month (December 2021) (IATA)
  • January 2022 domestic air travel was up 41.3% compared to January 2021, but down 7.2% compared to December 2021 (IATA)
  • January international air travel was up 165.6% compared to January 2021, but down 2.2% compared to December 2021 (IATA)
  • Hotel demand in January 2022 was 9% below 2019 levels (US Travel)
  • Nearly 1 in 6 job openings in the US are in leisure and hospitality (US Travel)
  • Overseas arrivals fell to 65% below 2019 levels in January 2022 (US Travel)
  • Leisure & hospitality accounts for 61% of all jobs still lost since 2020, and is recovering more slowly than the rest of the economy (US Travel)
  • Of the 10.9 million job openings in the US at the beginning of 2022, roughly one in six, or 1.7 million, were in leisure & hospitality alone (US Travel)
  • 58% of tourism professionals predict a travel rebound in 2022 (mostly in the third quarter) and 42% predict the rebound won’t happen until 2023 (UNWTO)
  • 64% of tourism experts predict international arrivals will return to pre-pandemic levels in 2024 or later (UNWTO)
  • 2020 was the worst year on record for tourism and 2021 the second worst year on record (UNWTO)
  • US adults say travel brands should definitely take these precautions: (Morning Consult)
    • clean/sanitize common areas (71%)
    • clean/sanitize private customer areas (70%)
    • publicly share info about COVID-19 protocols (55%)
    • allow for physical distancing (49%)
    • require employees to wear masks (48%)
    • require customers to wear masks (41%)
    • use tech to minimize interactions (39%)
  • The most popular travel dates for spring 2022 are March 31, March 11 and then March 12 (Trip Advisor)
  • 77% of Americans say they’ll travel within the US between March and May 2022, and 23% plan to travel internationally (Trip Advisor)
  • 78% of US travelers intend to travel during 2022 (Trip Advisor)
  • By the end of 2021, 78% of Americans were ready to travel (US Travel)
  • By the end of 2021, 81% of global business travelers believed their 2022 domestic business travel volume could meet or exceed their pre-pandemic volume (US Travel)
  • There is a 1 in one million risk of an infected passenger transmitting COVID-19 to another passenger flying from the UK to the US (US Travel)
  • International travel restrictions resulted in the loss of more than 1 million American jobs and $150 billion in export income in 2021 (US Travel)

Got Travelers of Your Own?

We at Access Development know a thing or two about wholesale travel benefits and the white-label travel platforms used to increase member engagement. Contact us and learn about our private travel network for groups and organizations. Whether it's deep discounts or cash-back travel rewards of up to 50% on hotel bookings, car rentals, theme park tickets and more, Access has the platform you need to offer your travelers unparalleled worldwide value. 

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Topics: Customer Engagement, Customer Incentives, Member Benefits, Travel, value enhancement, travel club incentives, tourism statistics, vacation statistics, business travel statistics, travel statistics

Written by: Kendra Lusty

For over a decade, Kendra Lusty has been a writer for Access Development, and currently focuses her research and writing on topics related to loyalty and engagement.

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