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Despite Cost, New Research Says Travel Tops Consumer Wish List

Recent study on travel sentiment shows that consumers want to travel, and many will not let anything stop them.  


Alexandria, V.A., October 20, 2022 — The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) is the world’s leading association of travel professionals. In consumer research released today, the Society has found that travel tops consumer wish lists over other discretionary spending, with 77 percent of Americans saying they would pick a vacation experience over a new computer, television, virtual reality headset or gaming console.  

Spending More on Travel  

In September, 61 percent of travelers felt that the cost of consumer goods was much higher. This is a 10 percent increase over the 51 percent who felt that consumer goods’ cost was much higher in May 2022. Despite this finding, 40 percent say that “nothing” will stop them from taking a vacation. In fact, 25 percent of American travelers plan to take a “dream vacation” in the next six months.

Even though nearly nine in ten travelers feel the impact of inflation on consumer goods, 40 percent of travelers are spending more on travel in the balance of the year, and an astonishing 75 percent of Americans plan to spend the same or more on travel in 2023

Holiday Plans and ROI 

This year’s festive travel season is shaping up to be robust. 64 percent of travelers will go out of town for Thanksgiving, 66 percent have travel plans in December, and 38 percent have already made travel arrangements for New Year’s Eve.  

When it comes to return on investment, 48 percent of consumers feel that travel is the best investment in these times, compared to other discretionary spend categories – almost double the investment value of buying a new car (21 percent).  

Travel is a Priority - YOLO 

Travel advisors are busier than ever this year because travel remains a top priority with consumers, with 70 percent saying that travel is a reward for what they have “had to deal with” over the past two years (revenge travel).  65 percent of Americans also self-report that they ascribe to the “YOLO” adage or “You Only Live Once” when it comes to travel, believing now is the time to get back out there and see the world.  

Commentary from the CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors:

“This research shows that Americans not only want to travel, they need to travel,” said Zane Kerby, President and CEO of the American Society of Travel Advisors. “However, they also believe travel tends to be inherently expensive, complex, and lacking in customer service. The value of an ASTA travel advisor has never been clearer.

"We’re pleased to see a three percent increase from our spring survey, showing 48 percent of consumers feel that a travel advisor would put them more at ease (compared to 45 percent in May). Professional travel planners can help price-conscious travelers with their budget, and they also deliver more value for the travel dollar that Americans are prioritizing more than ever before.” 

Full Report, Questions & Interview requets:

A PDF of research findings can be found at this link. For any questions or to schedule an interview, please contact Erika Richter, Vice President of Communications, at [email protected].or 586.604.9226. Zane Kerby and Erika Richter are both available for expert commentary for live broadcast and recorded segments. Headshots can be found here.



Attribution and Methodology: Please source any of this data to The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA)​ and hyperlink, when possible, to in digital publications, social media, or emails.  Results were generated following a 15-minute online survey with a representative national sample of N=524 Americans who traveled 50 miles or more from home and spent 1+ nights in a hotel or other paid lodging between September 2019 and the present​. Fieldwork was conducted in late September 2022​.  



Rebranded in 2018 as the American Society of Travel Advisors, ASTA is the leading global advocate for travel advisors, the travel industry and the traveling public. Its members represent 80 percent of all travel sold in the United States through the travel agency distribution channel. Together with hundreds of internationally-based members, ASTA’s history of industry advocacy traces back to its founding in 1931 when it launched with the mission to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism. For more information about the Society, visit our mission statement.  




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