Want to attract U.S. travelers to your destination? Get the next level of traveler insights to understand how to market and appeal to tourists in our new Emerging Trends in U.S. Tourism Report.
Using human movement data, we looked at five major tourist destinations over the last four years to discover the future of tourism including who today’s travelers are, how they travel, and how destinations can meet their needs.
Discover these U.S. tourism trends and more:
The road to recovery is gradual
Across the 5 destinations we studied, visitation is 33% lower than it was in 2019, which is higher than the last two years.
Length of stay has increased significantly
Visit durations grew across the board with 55% of long-term travelers planning to work during their trip.
Download now to power your marketing & advertising efforts and help your destination win in this new world.
Want precise insights into where your visitors are coming from? Reach out to us today!
Near Tourism Team
The Towns of Banff and Lake Louise are nestled in Banff National Park, one of the most pristine and beautiful parks in North America. Visitors and residents alike can hike, bike and camp in the summer and ski and snowboard in the winter. Hotels, shopping and fine dining are available all year round.
Tourism is the primary economic driver for these two towns, and residents and the economy were hit incredibly hard by Covid-19. Banff and Lake Louise faced a difficult recovery with imperfect economic conditions due to border closures and travel restrictions, waxing and waning threats of Omicron and other Covid variants, workforce challenges and inflationary pressure. In 2022, Banff Lake Louise Tourism (BLLT) was focused on rebuilding year-round demand in a post-covid environment by working with the destination’s businesses and community.
BLLT began to closely monitor visitor sentiment, knowing that word of mouth is the strongest marketing asset available to destinations. And as BLLT began to navigate the shifting tourism landscape and focus on rebuilding demand, Rove and TCI TravelSat were able to help BLLT capture and measure visitor experiences through online travel ratings and reviews.
TravelSat Pulse gives destinations the ability to aggregate, standardize and monitor visitor ratings and reviews of destination experiences in real-time. This includes 30+ online travel rating and review providers and historical data to trend from day one. BLLT leveraged this data to understand the visitor experience, monitor their reputation and share these insights with partners to ensure the destination is an attractive place to visit year-round.
From January to July 2022, BLLT monitored over 77,000 reviews for 292 different tourism properties across key sectors including accommodations, food and beverage, attractions, and transportation. The overall average rating across all sectors and properties was 8.58 on a 10-point scale. Written reviews were also quantified across key topics such as service, cleanliness etc. producing an overall score of 7.42. They were able to compare these metrics to visitor experience ratings of 2019 setting targets to meet or beat these key performance metrics.
BLLT uses the data to examine visitor experience holistically and by sector by month. They can drill down in granularity to evaluate positive or negative visitor experiences.
The sentiment analysis utilizes Natural Language Processing (NLP) of text reviews, which categorizes the data and extracts insights from 14 multiple native languages. The platform detects the positive and negative sentiment towards hospitality topics and converts the captured sentiment into an easy-to-understand numerical score out of 10.
BLLT can easily see visitor sentiment in a variety of categories such as facilities, food and beverage, service, location, cleanliness, value, and ambiance. These categories can be further examined by topics, to pin-point strengths and weaknesses that the destination can share with its partners and stakeholders.
One area of interest to BLLT was monitoring service levels across the destination to ensure hospitality was ranking consistently positive everywhere. The overall service rating at 8.72 indicates a strong workforce perception overall. Restaurants and bars held slightly higher than the average at 8.84, but attractions businesses underperformed the average at 8.24. BLLT can easily dive deeper into the data and uncover the underlying issue–needing additional staff and training and share these insights with their business members.
While BLLT continues to work to achieve visitor experience ratings equal to pre-Covid levels, Rove seeks to help them ask better questions and leverage rating and review data to identify areas of focus to improve visitor perception and experience. And spoiler alert, the first half of 2022 already indicates overall rating and sentiment are on track with 2019 – well done!
Interested in learning more about rating and review data?
Rove and TCI will be sharing major insights at the free TTRA webinar on Oct 11, 2022.
For more information on this data product, please contact Jennifer Griswold at: [email protected]
Rove is a leading travel & tourism data and analytics company. More than 100 leading tourism organizations & destinations globally rely on our tourism data solutions and industry expertise to navigate change and accelerate tourism economic recovery and growth. Visit ROVE’s Website
Short term or vacation rentals have grown like wildfire in the past 5 years, and this growth affects nearly all destinations in the southeast. Gray Research Solutions has been studying the growth of vacation rentals in tourism since their start in 2013, but lately has been getting more requests to help destinations understand the landscape and implications of vacation rentals than ever before. The issue, of course, is that while hotels and bed and breakfasts have been regulated and taxed for years, rental units listed on rental-by-owner platforms have not. Some destinations have created ordinances and legislation to regulate short term rental units, some have entered voluntary collection agreements (VCAs) with Airbnb and/or vrbo, and some have not done anything. GRS has had success convincing the powers that be of the need to consider regulations by “following the money”: tracing the tax going uncollected and showing how that revenue would impact the budgets of lodging tax beneficiary organizations in the destination.
In the counties of the North Alabama Mountain and Lakes region, GRS has been conducting their “DMO Insight Audit” methodology to mine existing destination data and determine what questions, if answered through research, could help move their destination marketing forward. Part of this initiative has been tracing the money flow of lodging taxes, estimating the amount of tax being left on the table by vacation rental revenue, and showing how that tax revenue would impact the budgets of the organizations that benefit from it based on the city, county and/or state legislation currently in place.
During a presentation of the VR Money Flow map for Madison County, the Director of the Alabama Tourism Department Lee Sentell realized that while state short term rental taxes were being remitted by Airbnb and vrbo, local short term rental taxes were by and large NOT being collected (with beach destinations as the exception). To remedy this, he decided to fund a $400,000 grant on a compliance program to locate and communicate with vacation rental hosts.
Please listen to this teaser from Shannon Gray and Emily Yeager’s discussion on this often-debated topic.
View Full Video SETTRA #RESEARCHMATTERS
Young adults around the world are craving real-world experiences and travel ranks highly.
People around the world missed out on personal experiences and opportunities to see friends and family over the last two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Many young people during this time were forced to grow up or come of age while many parts of the world were shut down, leading to lost experiences at a formative age in their social and emotional development. Travel can be key to this development, helping young people understand cultural differences, try new things, think more empathetically, and adapt to changing situations.
This relationship with travel goes both ways and younger generations represent an important segment to travel brands. Young travelers will form their attitudes towards travel over the next few years and it is incredibly important for marketers to get to know and keep in step with the trends that will shape and mold the travel and tourism sector.
A new travel report from YouGov sets out to understand perspectives on travel—and life—from 18- to –24-year-olds around the world (we refer to this age group as Global Gen Z throughout). Below are a few key insights into what makes the under-24 travel market vital to travel’s own future.
A desire for physical experiences after coming of age in a pandemic
After more than two years of pandemic life with major disruptions to their financial situations, education, and social lives, Global Gen Z are eager for real-world activities and experiences.
Reconnecting with the people they love is one of the top activities Global Gen Z hopes to do more of in the next 12 months. There’s also pent-up excitement to return to physical stores, in-person events, and vacations either at home or abroad.
Gen Z will shape our next normal and their excitement to do so is especially encouraging for the travel industry. As the world continues to open up to travelers again, brands have a chance to build on the moments that Gen Z has missed out on or ones that they have yet to experience for the first time.
Gen Z leads the way in intent to spend more on travel this year
We measured the categories that people across 17 markets intend to spend more on this year compared to last year to get a fuller understanding of if two years of travel restrictions have affected the desire to return to travel.
When it comes to the areas Gen Z will spend more on, the top two categories are clothes/accessories (32% globally) and eating out (27%). This is no surprise as our data reveals socializing plays a big role in young people’s lives.
What is notable among younger generations is that they will be prioritizing travel in their spending mix. More than a quarter of the world’s Gen Z population intends to spend more on travel in the next 12 months (26%).
Furthermore, when we look at how travel spending among Gen Z compares to other age groups, Gen Z leads the way. A fifth of global adults intend to spend more on travel products and services in the next 12 months (21%) compared to the previous year, rising to just over one in four amongst Gen Zs (26%) with millennials following closely (25%).
How does travel demand from younger generations of Americans and Canadians compare to other markets? Download the full YouGov report to see how travel desire varies across the globe.
Gen Z ripe for repeat travel and building loyalty
People have different motivations for revisiting places they’ve traveled to before. Whether it’s because it’s a place they know and love or whether it’s to see family and friends again—something 26% of Gen Z listed as their favorite type of travel—it’s important to understand why people travel, especially young people trying to make up for lost time.
Psychographic data from YouGov’s new report reveals that Gen Z travelers are more likely to revisit familiar destinations, with 40% agreeing they usually go back to the same places on vacation—the highest of any other age group.
This finding coupled with the idea that Gen Z travelers seek out experiences for social media content (43%) can help brands fine-tune their content and messaging to draw these travelers back to places of comfort and familiarity.
For more data on the most fluid and digitally-engaged generation, get YouGov’s full Gen Z travel report. Inside the report, travel brands and marketers can learn more about:
- Gen Z’s attitudes towards life in general and the issues that matter most to them
- Domestic and international travel intention among Gen Z in 25 markets
- Their preferred accommodation types—from hotels to rented apartments—while traveling
- What experiences they want from their next trip
- Which channels to engage with and reach Gen Z
- Their views on luxury and sustainable travel
- Young travelers’ interest in travel and the metaverse
Near’s Tourism Dashboard and Origin Market Length of Stay datasets help drive growth and marketing alignment to enable strategic business decisions.
PASADENA, CA—JUNE 30, 2022— As travel rebounds to pre-pandemic levels, Near, a global SaaS leader in privacy-led data intelligence on people, places, and products, is working with Greater Palm Springs to provide insights into where both its domestic and international travelers are coming from to help it understand its business better, make smarter resource decisions, and to better leverage the recovery in tourism in the wake of COVID-19. To assist in this effort, Near is providing Greater Palm Springs its Tourism Dashboard and Origin Market Length of Stay datasets, which are created specifically for analyzing the tourism market, both internally for the company, as well as for sharing with its industry partners.
Greater Palm Springs attracts over 14 million visitors annually, with 6.4 million of those visitors staying overnight. One in four jobs in the area is in the hospitality industry, and the overall economic impact of tourism for the region is $7.5 billion. With the pandemic, the region saw direct spending reduced by $3.4 billion, a 54% drop. To navigate this tremendous shift, the team needed insights and data on where visitors were coming from and what they were doing while visiting to adapt their strategy. By identifying the most common countries of origin for international travelers, Greater Palm Springs knew where to better allocate its resources to draw more tourists and help compensate for events canceled due to the pandemic. This helped lead to full occupancy by summer 2021. As travel continues to rebound to pre-pandemic levels, The Near data is also helping to track visitor/traveler consumer behavior to understand where visitors are dining, shopping, and the attractions they are visiting.
Read the Case Study Here: How Greater Palm Springs used Near’s data to understand visitor origins and visitation patterns
“Our partnership with Near has provided our organization with quality data to validate strategy and resource allocation along with gaining new insights into visitor profiles, originating source markets, and their movements within the destination. Since the data is consistently updated and customizable, we are finding new ways to incorporate the data in real-time along with educating our local hospitality businesses to better support their internal programming. Everyone at Near has always been responsive and easy to work with while also accommodating all our requests,” said Gary Orfield, Director of Tourism Development, at Greater Palm Springs.
The data from Near helped the team collaborate with the airline network planners on routes, which was especially useful in responding to the changes during the pandemic. The data helped inform and validate recommendations for building new airline routes or extending routes for certain seasons. Thanks in part to these recommendations, Palm Springs International Airport has set ten monthly records since June 2022.
Greater Palm Springs was also able to gather intelligence from regional airports like LAX, San Diego, Orange County, and Ontario to understand where visitors were coming from in terms of the U.S. point of entry, and where they were going once they left the airport. This resulted in a better understanding of international markets and led to increased growth during the summer months. With this and the strategic allocation of resources, Greater Palm Springs was able to attract greater-than-usual numbers of leisure travelers, which made up for a reduction in convention business, which historically had made up 40% of visitors and business. Greater Palm Springs has seen leisure occupancy growth during the summer outpace peak season with a 17.2% increase in the past decade (versus 13.3% for January – May). The Average Daily Rate (ADR) for leisure guests in the summer months has also grown by 34.7% in this same period.
“Near is empowering Greater Palm Springs with the data and insights it needs to make strategic business decisions that will help increase its ROI and the overall tourist experience,” said Anil Mathews, Founder, and CEO at Near. “Near is the gold standard in the tourism industry and we are delighted to empower destination marketing organizations (DMOs) of all sizes as well as cities and states around the world with our people and places data to make them more competitive”
Through their partnership with Near, Greater Palm Springs has been able to use data to validate strategy and decisions in many ways. While the overall ROI contributed directly through their work with Near is challenging to measure, the data helped the team:
Make a case for developing new routes and expanding existing services for flights to Palms Springs International Airport, which reached record numbers of monthly passengers starting in June 2021.
About Greater Palm Springs
Visit Greater Palm Springs is the official tourism marketing agency for the Coachella Valley. Founded in May 1989 by a Joint Powers Authority comprising the cities of Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, and Indio, Visit Greater Palm Springs was created as a public-private partnership to help grow the region’s tourism economy. The mission of Visit Greater Palm Springs is to positively affect the destination’s tourism economy and quality of life for its citizens, serving more than 5000 GPSTBID partners and providing sales, marketing, and public relations support targeting potential leisure travelers from around the world as well as event, meeting and convention groups. Learn more here: https://www.visitgreaterpalmsprings.com/
Near, a global SaaS leader in privacy-led data intelligence curates one of the world’s largest sources of intelligence on people, places, and products. Near processes data from over 1.6 billion unique user IDs, in over 70 million places across 44 countries to empower marketing and operational data leaders to confidently reach, understand, and market to consumers and optimize their business results. With offices in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Paris, Bangalore, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo, Near serves major enterprises in retail, real estate, restaurants, tourism, technology, marketing, and other industries. For more information, please visit https://near.com
Director, Corporate Communications