Travel trends

Travel trends: insights on North American travellers

north american traveller trends
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Understanding traveller behaviour is key to unlocking potential opportunities. That’s why, each year, we survey* thousands of global travellers to analyse outlooks and trends. In this post, we’ll look at the results for North American travellers.

In total, we surveyed 3,008 bookers from across the US and Canada. Here, we offer you insights into their sentiment and plans.

Travellers are protecting their travel budgets


Across all North American responses, spending is generally expected to increase or stay the same.

north american traveller trends

 

In total, 46% are expecting to spend more, compared to just 13% planning to spend less.

Those who were planning to increase spending expect to do so by spending more while travelling (41%), taking longer trips (41%), taking more trips (37%) and travelling further from home (35%).

There’s a broad mix of trip types planned

North American travellers give a few different predictions for trip types they plan to take. Trips to visit family or friends were the most common expectation (40%), but it wasn’t much higher than beach vacations (39%) or weekend trips (38%). Road trips (34%) and city trips (27%) rounded out the top five.

Such a  variety of reasons for travel can present diverse opportunities to appeal to a broad array of travellers.

There’s a similar mix of planned activities

There is also a notable mix of activities. Respondents selected sightseeing tours (35%), food experiences (35%) and a day of shopping (34%), all at broadly similar levels of interest.

These were then followed by a visit to a viewing point to get great views of the destination (29%) and museums or galleries (27%).

This again speaks to that diversity of interest from North American travellers. 

Trips with their partners are a priority

When it comes to travel companions, however, there was one clear priority from respondents. 

north america traveller trends infographic

 

While the actual destinations and expected activities may vary, the majority are planning to travel with a partner or spouse. Interestingly, US respondents were more than twice as likely to travel with a pet compared to Canadian respondents.

North America is middle of the table for mobile

While many North American travellers continue to use laptops or personal computers for their online planning, they come in the middle of the table for mobile tech adoption – ahead of travellers from Europe but behind those from Latin America and Asia.

When they use mobile, North American travellers slightly prefer mobile apps (35%) over mobile websites (33%).

Whichever device they use to access information and plan, these travellers are most likely to book flights, attractions and car rental online.

Business travel could be an important trip type

While the majority of North American travellers aren’t planning any business travel (58%), this still leaves many who may need to be open to the possibility.

Of those who are planning business travel, 27% expect it to be for domestic business, and 16% for international.

In addition to the business travel itself, there’s an opportunity to add leisure aspects to such planned trips, with many planning to enhance a business trip by seeing the sights (76%) and even extend a business trip by adding on time for leisure (70%).

*Research was commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of adults who had taken a leisure trip in the last 12 months and planned to take a leisure trip in 2023. The sample comprised 3,008 bookers from across the US and Canada. Respondents completed an online survey between January and February 2023. 

Key Takeaways

  • At the beginning of 2023, almost half of North American travellers were looking to  spend more on travel this year
  • Within North America, there is a real diversity in terms of trip types and additional activities on trips
  • Trips with partners are the most common, followed by trips with family and solo trips
  • Business travel is an important area, with many considering steps to turn business trips into leisure time too

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