TripAdvisor’s Winter Travel Index has revealed that 58% of Americans expect to travel this season, with many looking to explore international destinations as budgets ease.

The Index projects that 63% of American Millennials and 68% of the American Gen Z population will travel this winter, with the majority looking to travel for specific seasonal reasons. Of the 58% total expecting to travel, 36% will do so for winter festivals, 30% for winter sports and activities, 30% for school breaks and 43% for cultural or religious holidays.

Travel trend factors

One factor driving travel and tourism this winter is the easing of budgets. The Index suggests that 93% of those expecting to travel will spend either the same or more than last year, with 57% planning their trips regardless of financial constraints.

This trend is also reflected in the frequency and duration of travel. Tripadvisor predicts that 25% of American travellers will take more trips this winter than last year and that 30% will take longer ones.

Although 68% of American travellers plan to stay in the country, 32% expect to go abroad. Caribbean and Asian destinations are set to see a particular increase in American visitors, comprising most of the top 10 most popular for American tourists. Las Galeras in the Dominican Republic, Fasmendhoo in the Maldives and Hong Kong are the destinations seeing the greatest year-on-year growth in interest.

Looking into 2024, Tripadvisor’s Winter Travel Index showed that 77% of surveyed Americans would travel throughout the year, with 94% expecting to travel as much or more than in 2023. June and July will remain the most popular months, coinciding with the summer holidays.

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Covid-19 travel concerns dissipate

Alice Jong, Senior Research Analyst at Tripadvisor, commented: “This season, we’re seeing Americans confident in taking bigger trips. About half plan to travel more than they did last winter, and they are more likely to take a long trip (five-plus nights)

“Price and weather top the list of hesitations about travel, while Covid-19 has dropped to a more moderate concern. The bottom line is the vast majority (73%) agree that travel is extremely important to them, and they’ll prioritize it this season and into 2024.”

Covid concerns certainly appear to be a worry of the past, according to social media trends identified by GlobalData. Both '#travel' and '#hotels' have increased in frequency since restrictions began to lift, seeing particular spikes in October 2021, as the US announced it would ease the rules from 8 November 2021.

Social media engagement has fluctuated post-recovery but has remained consistently above levels at the height of the pandemic. The figures also indicate that winter has not been an obstacle for travel for American posters.

Our signals coverage is powered by GlobalData’s Thematic Engine, which tags millions of data items across six alternative datasets — patents, jobs, deals, company filings, social media mentions and news — to themes, sectors and companies. These signals enhance our predictive capabilities, helping us to identify the most disruptive threats across each of the sectors we cover and the companies best placed to succeed.