The Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) conducted a study on 4,000 American travelers during January 16-21, 2023. They recorded their responses to questions regarding travel this year, such as travel destinations, motivations for travel, budgets, trends, and overall experiences. The study found that on average, travelers rated their excitement to travel an 8 out of 10, and 41 percent of the study pool rated their excitement to travel a 10 out of 10. Not only are travelers thinking about their next trips, but 84 percent of American travelers already have existing trips booked. 17 percent of travelers have made reservations or purchased flight tickets in the last week alone, and half of the participants report having two weeks or more dedicated to their vacations. One-third of the travelers reported that they would take at least one international trip this year as well. Travelers reported that with inflation and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) starting to level out, it has eased their economic anxieties, therefore, growing their excitement to travel this year. 45 percent of travelers reported that they believe they will be more financially secure a year from now. In June 2022, travelers reported having to cancel their trips due to inflation costs has decreased from a peak of 36 percent to 27 percent. During this January 2023 study, 42 percent of travelers reported that high travel costs deterred them from traveling, which is down from 49 percent in December 2022. 30 percent of American travelers stated that now is a good time to invest in leisure travel which is the highest percentage since the summer of 2022.
Travelers anticipate spending an average of $4,407 on leisure travel this year, which has increased from its previous average of $3,991 at the conclusion of 2022. With American travelers anticipating having to spend more money on their trips, they are emphasizing the importance of using credit cards and reward points to help fund their trips by 52 percent, with 33 percent of travelers redeeming their points primarily for airline tickets and hotel stays. This month, the Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) focused on the motivating factors for travel using an array of questions with a five-point scale rating from “not motivating at all” to “critically important”. The survey found that about two-thirds or more of the participants scored quality time with loved ones, experiencing new places, creating memories, and escaping the pressures of daily life and recharging as top-tier motivators with very motivating or critically important as the responses. Connecting with nature, food, visiting places of historical significance, and the chance to expand one’s own perspective as being second-tier motivators. Third-tier motivators include art, shopping, concerts, bragging rights, and partying. The two travel trends seen during this study found that 17 percent of travelers used a travel agent or advisor to plan one or more trips in the last 12 months, and 24 percent of travelers have brought a pet along with them on at least one trip in the last year.