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August 22, 2013 / BSP Marketing

What U.S. Travelers Will Spend in The Future

What U.S. Travelers Will Spend in The Future


You win! Congratulations! You are the big winner on the Price is Right! You’re going on a fabulous vacation for two in Paris with your new designer luggage and $5,000 in spending cash! Wake up honey. Time to get up baby. The kids want breakfast and you have to get ready for work.

Oh, it was only a dream. A week in Paris is something that most Americans only dream of enjoying. Dreams can come true for U.S. travelers who want to take a trip to Europe or some other exotic international destination. Americans are planning to spend more than ever on vacations to Europe, China and almost every other part of the world.

Travel imports and exports

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI) 2012 report, U.S. travelers spent $118.1 billion on international travel (U.S. travel imports), which, while less than the $165.6 billion spent by international visitors to the United States (U.S. travel exports), is still quite a substantial sum.

Future of international travel

U.S. travelers will always take more trips and spend more money here in the United States. We will still visit Disneyland and the Grand Canyon and New York City. However, according to a 2013 Global Travel Intentions Study by Visa, American travel abroad is emerging as a very strong travel trend.

Spending will increase on future trips abroad

One of the findings of the study showed that U.S. travelers are planning to spend 40 percent more on future international travel on their next international trip compared to their last trip abroad. People are willing to spend more for a more culturally enriching experience than ever before. For popular foreign destinations like London, Paris, and Rome, that means more money for their economies. Restaurants, hotels and tourist related attractions will all benefit from the future international travel plans of Americans.

While the amount of money that U.S. travelers plan to spend abroad will increase by about 40 percent, internationally travelers to the United States are not likely to increase their travel budget by more than about 4 percent over their last excursion to America. Of course these figures are all based on a survey of travelers and some will part with more money than others.

How Americans like to travel

U.S. travelers rely slightly more on their credit cards and debit cards to help pay for their trip abroad. The Study showed that 81 percent of Americans, compared to 74 percent of travelers from other countries, use their debit and credit cards to make purchases when in a foreign country for business or pleasure. The convenience and security of being able to use a piece of plastic to make your purchases is the main reason most tourists and business travelers site for not carrying around a wad of paper currency.

Where do those travel dollars go?

When you travel, one of the fun things that you get to do is try the local cuisine. You can not go to Paris without having breakfast at a sidewalk cafe. If you are visiting the queen in London, it is a must to stop in a local pub and get yourself a cool mug of the finest ale. Approximately 29 percent of the travel budget goes toward dining, beverages and sampling the local delicacies. Another 24 percent of the budget is allocated for shopping and buying mementos to bring home as a reminder of your vacation. Other monies are spent on attractions, transportation and, of course, hotel accommodations.

Booking your next international adventure

Times have changed tremendously from twenty years ago when it comes to how we book travel. Travel both domestically and to international destinations is now most likely to involve the internet in some form or fashion. U.S. travelers have become increasingly more tech-savvy in how they plan and make arrangements for international travel.

You can look up any destination in the world, and with a few clicks of the mouse, go on a tour of the local area and attractions. You can read personal reviews of the best sites to see and the best hotels at which to stay. While there is still demand for using your local travel agency down at the far end of the mall, the future is clearly moving closer to internet travel agencies for most Americans who want to visit foreign lands.

Las Vegas, Disney World and the San Diego Zoo

Americans have always been fascinated with the cultures and customs of the many diverse countries all around the world. You need look no further than Las Vegas to see the fascination. If you walk a mile down the Strip, you will find yourself inside the ancient pyramids of Egypt, playing roulette in Paris or enjoying the decadence of drinking wine and gambling on the roll of the dice in ancient Rome.

A trip to Disney’s Epcot Center will give you a chance to visit Mexico, Morocco, China and about a dozen other countries, without ever stepping out of Lake Buena Vista, Florida. You can go on an African Safari at the San Diego Zoo, but if you want the real thing, you will have to venture to the still somewhat exotic continent of Africa.

International travel is in our blood

There is no other place in the world with a more diverse population than the United States of America. We are truly a melting pot of individuals who come from every country in the world. We arrived by ship from Italy, Ireland and England. We came from China and Korea. People from the Philippines, Cuba, Mexico and countries whose names you have never heard of, live, work and contribute to what is the United States of America.

Whether you are a first generation American, or can trace your roots all the way back to 1620 when the Mayflower landed on Plymouth Rock, there will always be a curiosity about the rest of the world. In the future, the number of people who want to travel internationally will only continue to grow.

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