More Than Half of Americans Plan to Check off a Wish List Destination for Their First Post-Pandemic Trip
New survey from Hilton reveals the most eagerly-awaited destinations and landmarks include the Grand Canyon, Eiffel Tower, Niagara Falls, The Northern Lights and the Las Vegas Strip
MCLEAN, Va. - After a year of staying at home, Americans are returning to travel and making up for lost time by booking their dream vacations. According to a new survey conducted by Hilton, 59% of respondents plan to jump back into travel with a bucket list vacation they would not have considered prior to the pandemic. The survey analyzed the impact COVID-19 had on Americans' travel habits and determined their most sought-after wish list destinations. The top locations included international and domestic landmarks like the Grand Canyon, Eiffel Tower, Niagara Falls, Statue of Liberty, the Colosseum in Rome and the Las Vegas Strip.
"The results show both international and domestic destinations are at the top of Americans' wish lists for their next vacation," said Jenna Hackett, global brand head, Curio Collection by Hilton. "It's no surprise 30% strongly agree they will book a dream vacation that they normally wouldn't have considered – our guests are looking for those authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences, especially after more than a year without making travel memories."
A Domestic Travel State of Mind
Given many are transitioning from staycations to dream vacations, survey respondents felt domestic travel was their best shot at a bucket list trip. In fact, 57% of those surveyed said they would be more comfortable traveling within the U.S. for their first post-pandemic vacation. The top U.S. cities Americans plan to visit include Honolulu (29%), New York City (25%) and Las Vegas (24%). Whether it's Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, Canopy by Hilton Jersey City Arts District or Millennium Hilton New York Downtown, there are many options for travelers seeking adventure and culture in their most sought after cities post-pandemic.
Hilton is especially excited to welcome guests back to Las Vegas. Travelers heading there will have more options than ever, ranging from the recently opened Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Curio Collection by Hilton which is located off of the Las Vegas Strip, to the newest jewel on the Las Vegas Strip, a marquee Hilton Hotels & Resorts hotel, the largest Conrad Hotels & Resorts property in the world and one of the first LXR Hotels & Resorts locations in the U.S., at the Resorts World Las Vegas complex. Resorts World Las Vegas will offer 3,500 luxury guest rooms and suites from these three premium Hilton brands – the largest multi-brand deal in Hilton's history.
Additional cities on the survey takers' travel wish list include:
- Los Angeles (selected by 21% of respondents)
- Miami (selected by 20%)
- New Orleans (selected by 20%)
- San Francisco (selected by 19%)
- San Diego (selected by 18%)
While many plan to stay stateside this year, there was still a large desire for eventual overseas travel. European countries topped the international wish list, with Italy being the most popular destination at 26%, followed closely by United Kingdom (24%), France (20%) and Greece (18%).
As travelers consider specific cities they want to explore, Rome was the top choice with nearly 27%. Paris and London were close seconds at 26% and 25%, respectively. Hilton has no shortage of breathtaking properties for travelers to take advantage of once they are ready to book their dream vacation at these locations, including Aleph Rome Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, a historic building in the heart of the city that is a 10-minute walk to the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese; Canopy by Hilton London City opening this summer, which will feature a rooftop bar with dazzling views of the city and St. Paul's Cathedral; and Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero, which includes design that draws inspiration from Trocadero's rich history along with thoughtfully local touches that help guests make the most of their stay in Paris.
Additional international wish list travel destinations included:
- Venice (23%)
- Sydney (22%)
- Dublin (20%)
- Tokyo (18%)
- Barcelona (17%)
- Amsterdam (17%)
- Madrid (16%)
"Whether traveling internationally or domestically, we've found that guests today are looking to dive into the local scene more and more, especially during these dream vacations," said Phil Cordell, global brand head, Canopy by Hilton. "While they are looking for those once-in-a-lifetime moments, they also want to immerse themselves in the culture of their destination, as evidenced by 29% of those surveyed who wanted access to explore the nearby area and city and almost 1 in 5 wanting to feel like a local."
Travelers also are ready to go all-in on their dream vacation: 30% said a top priority would be booking an all-inclusive vacation. Hilton offers best-in-class hospitality at its expanding portfolio of all-inclusive resorts, including Hilton La Romana, an All-Inclusive Family Resort, and Hilton Cancun, an All-Inclusive Resort opening later this year.
Additional results of the consumer survey include:
- Reconnecting with Friends and Family: Two in five respondents plan to visit family they haven't seen during the pandemic and 27% plan to travel with friends and family. In fact, 38% of respondents said spending quality time with friends and family is one of the top things they miss about traveling.
- Making up for Lost Travel Time: Most respondents plan on staying at their destination longer (59%) and traveling further (46%) than they previously would have.
- A Safe and Reliable Travel Experience: Safety is still top of mind for consumers when it comes to traveling this summer. The top priorities related to booking their next vacation are being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (48%) and ensuring their hotel has COVID-19 cleaning protocols and safety measures in place (35%).
- More Money, More Travel: The survey also found that nearly half of respondents (49%) said they used the pandemic as an opportunity to save up more money for a dream vacation they have always had on their wish list, while 55% said they plan to spend more than they usually would on their next trip since they haven't traveled in a while: an average of $2,173.11.
This online survey of 2,000 nationally representative American adults was commissioned by Hilton and conducted by market research company OnePoll, in accordance with the Market Research Society's code of conduct. Data was collected in May 2021. All participants are paid an amount depending on the length and complexity of the survey. This survey was overseen and edited by the OnePoll research team, who are members of the MRS and have corporate membership to ESOMAR and AAPOR.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 18 world-class brands comprising more than 6,600 properties and more than 1 million rooms, in 119 countries and territories. Dedicated to fulfilling its founding vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality, Hilton has welcomed more than 3 billion guests in its more than 100-year history, earned a top spot on the 2020 World"s Best Workplaces list, and was named the 2020 Global Industry Leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices. In 2020, Hilton CleanStay was introduced, bringing an industry-defining standard of cleanliness to hotels worldwide. Through the award-winning guest loyalty program Hilton Honors, the more than 118 million members who book directly with Hilton can earn Points for hotel stays and experiences money can"t buy. With the free Hilton Honors app, guests can book their stay, select their room, check in, unlock their door with a Digital Key and check out, all from their smartphone. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information, and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.