What Were The Changes In American Traveller Behaviour In 2016?

Health and safety concerns were at the forefront of travellers’ minds this year. In 2016, more Americans opted to protect their trips, according to leading travel insurance comparison site Squaremouth, which reported an 18% increase in the number of insured travellers from the previous year.

“Over the past year, we saw the impact of concerns about terrorism and Zika virus on traveller behaviour, but we did not see Americans stop travelling,” said Squaremouth spokesperson Rachael Taft. “More Americans sought travel insurance for their trips in 2016, and many chose to visit destinations closer to home.”

Where did Americans travel in 2016?

Canada Leaps into Top 5, Caribbean Travel Slows

  • Canada overtook France and the United Kingdom to become the fourth most popular destination
  • Travel to Cuba increased by 148% compared to 2015
  • The United States, Mexico and Italy remained the top three destinations for U.S. travellers
  • In a year where Zika virus was a major concern, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic and Aruba saw decreased travel from 2015

Growth in Number of U.S. Travellers to Top 10 Destinations

1. United States (+14%) 6. United Kingdom (+15%)
2. Mexico (+18%) 7. Spain (+27%)
3. Italy (+21%) 8. Bahamas (+7.3%)
4. Canada (+46%) 9. Germany (+13%)
5. France (+8.3%) 10. Israel (+14%)

What were travellers concerned about in 2016?

Terrorism a Top Concern for Travellers

  • The number of travellers searching for terrorism coverage more than doubled from 2015
  • Squaremouth saw a 70% increase in customers looking for inclement weather coverage
  • Travellers sought more flexibility to cancel for reasons not typically covered by travel insurance, including concerns about Zika virus or potential terrorism, with an 11% increase in travellers adding the Cancel For Any Reason upgrade

Who travelled in 2016?

Baby Boomers dominate, Senior Travel on the rise.

  • Baby Boomers bought the most travel insurance, accounting for 41% of sales, while Millennials bought the least, accounting for 13% .
  • Senior travel grew significantly, with a 39% increase in the number of travellers over 70 buying travel insurance in 2016

How much did Americans spend on travel in 2016?

Spending on travel declines slightly.

  • Americans spent an average of $3,668 on their trips in 2016, a slight decrease from 2015
  • Italy and France were the most expensive destinations, with U.S. travellers spending more than $4,000 per trip
  • Travellers over 70 spent the most on travel, averaging $2,749 per person, while Millennials spent the least per traveller at $1,149

Table 1: Average Total Trip Cost for Squaremouth Customers

Average Trip


YoY Change
2016 $3,668 -0.9%
2015 $3,701 0.6%
2014 $3,679 5.0%
2013 $3,503 9.6%

Methodology: Data is based on travel insurance policies purchased through Squaremouth prior to 12/16/16. Annual numbers are based on policies that were purchased before 12/16 with travel dates during each respective year. Statistics reflect year-over-year changes unless otherwise noted. Travellers who are visiting multiple countries only have to enter one destination when purchasing a policy on Squaremouth.com.

Source: http://www.travelindustrywire.com/article92567.html, 28 December 2016

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