According to GlobalData’s latest forecast, the US source market is projected to be the most valuable globally in terms of average overseas tourism expenditure in 2021, with spend per resident amounting to $3,580. The willingness of many US travellers to dedicate significant amounts of their disposable income to international trips could help to drive the recovery of many destinations across the globe.

According to GlobalData, global outbound tourist expenditure is forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22% between 2021 and 2024, with expenditure finally exceeding pre-pandemic levels by 2024. A driving force behind this recovery will be US travellers and their tendency to visit destinations across the globe. This spreads tourist dollars to a range of different continents, and contributes to recovery on an international scale.

Solid demand for long-haul

Within the top ten outbound destinations for the US market in 2021, six of them would be classed as long-haul destinations, due to the average flight time being more than six hours. Additionally, the average length of stay for an international trip from the US market was 18 days in 2021, showcasing that this market will stay in a destination for a lengthy period of time. This adds to the attractiveness of US travellers for destinations across the globe.

Europe is particularly popular with Americans. The culture and gastronomy in the likes of France and Italy are major pull factors. However, a high-quality sun and beach product is essential for many. According to GlobalData’s Q3 2021 Consumer Survey, 42% of US respondents stated that they typically undertake sun and beach holidays, which was the most popular type of trip taken. These common preferences hint as to what aspects of a tourism product destination management organisations (DMOs) should be marketing to this lucrative market.

Premium products and services will be utilised

Destinations that can cater for high-net-worth individuals, consumers with financial assets with a value greater than $1 million, may extract the most value from the US market. According to GlobalData, the US has more millionaires than any other nation. In fact, in 2021, the number of US citizens that were worth $1M to $1.5M is projected to be 237.4% more than China, the country that had the second most citizens that sit in this monetary bracket. The high number of wealthy travellers in this market means that premium travel related products and services need to be provided for expectations to be met.

The market’s high average overseas expenditure, willingness to travel long-haul, tendency to stay for long periods of time, demand for a range of different experiences, and solid number of high-net-worth individuals means it will drive international tourism recovery.

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