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“Everyone loves Americans”: Why American tourists are in high demand

Vilnius, Lithuania-based tourism industry specialist Justin Albertynas has some encouraging news for American tourists who worry about the “ugly American” image.

As he saw it, “it’s not true at all.”

Ratepunk’s CEO and co-founder, Albertynas, claims his company’s browser plugin can find the cheapest hotel rates across the web’s most popular booking sites.

Throughout my career, I have found Europeans and European firms to be consistently friendly and receptive to American visitors. Everyone has a tendency to idolize them, especially if they hail from New York or Los Angeles. So, contrary to the disgusting American fashion, the world truly adores Americans. Ratepunk’s CEO and co-founder, Albertynas

It’s possible that not everyone shares Albertynas’s opinion. However, American tourists’ purchasing power is one thing the tourism sector seems to appreciate.

Tourism bureaus, tour operators, and DMCs worldwide have long desired the United States market, and for good reason: the country has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. The United States has the fifth highest annual salary average in the world, at around $70,000.

American visitors are known to spend more than their European and other international counterparts on lodging, meals, and tours since they have more disposable income and are used to tipping service staff. They travel for longer periods of time and frequently take dozens of family members with them.

This means that Americans may become even more desirable as the tourism sector starts to bounce back and companies try to make up for lost revenue during the pandemic’s recessionary years.

Michael Rozenblit, co-founder of The World Was Here First, a travel site focusing on US and European destinations and promoting responsible tourism, says that “remarketing those experiences” has become even more important in light of the recent pandemic and the loss of revenue for many travel brands when American tourists weren’t coming.

After a period in which Americans stayed at home, interest in remarketing to U.S. tourists has increased among tour operators and destination management companies (DMCs).

Of course, the present summer crush isn’t just due of sophisticated marketing initiatives; it’s also the product of years of pent-up wanderlust; for example, in Europe, 55% more US travelers are expected to visit than last season.

Even so, when you consider how strong the dollar is compared to currencies like the euro and how work-from-anywhere policies have become the rule, the US market seems likely to stay at the top of the list of most-wanted travelers for the foreseeable future.

A continent filled with coveted tourists

In addition to the United States, other markets in North and South America, such as Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, also have tremendous appeal in the tourism business, according to Catherine Chaulet is the chief executive officer of Global DMC Partners, a cooperative of private DMCs and event organizers.

“These tourists” (particularly businesspeople) “are all following the same trends,” Chaulet explains. Because of their disposable income and desire to travel, this group is highly targeted.

The “Come and Say G’day” campaign launched by Tourism Australia is one of the most eye-catching new initiatives aimed at visitors from the United States and Canada. The animated short film, starring Rose Byrne (who is from Australia) as a kangaroo and Will Arnett (who is from Canada) as a stuffed unicorn (who ends up at an Australian gift shop by accident), premiered in New York in October 2022.

According to Chris Allison, vice president for The Americas at Tourism Australia, the nine-minute film has received more than 50 million views as part of the organization’s ongoing effort to increase tourism numbers from high-yield US travelers.

Allison tells via email that the most recent findings from Tourism Australia’s Consumer Demand Project (CDP), which is the organization’s primary research instrument, indicate very favorable outcomes for the US market.

Similarly, the United States is the “strongest, fastest-growing segment” for Toronto-based small-group adventure travel operator G Adventures, according to Steve Lima, vice president of growth in the United States and Latin America. G Adventures’ five key selling markets also include Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia.

Lima notes that the United States remains the market with the highest per-departure seat ratio. This is why the United States consistently receives a disproportionate share of government funding, military aid, and other resources. There has been an uptick in the number of national tourism boards approaching us in the United States about potential cooperative advertising partnerships.

Some new companies in the tourism industry are taking cues from established ones and tailoring their marketing methods to appeal to American tourists.

According to Ratepunk’s Albertynas, the company has focused most of its promotion and marketing efforts on the North American market ever since its soft launch in March 2022.

To quote Albertynas: “Our PR department has a clear objective to prioritize US and Canada-based publications.” This accounts for 60% of content marketing spending.

Our investments in these choices have paid off handsomely. We’re ‘dipping our toes’ into the US market to see how far we can push marketing there because we’ve seen that people there are really interested in and involved with our work in the tourism industry.

When Americans travel, they are filled with vigor.

In addition to their spending power, Chaulet notes, American tourists share other cultural traits that make them attractive to tourism businesses.

There’s an enthusiasm in American travelers that’s really very appreciated. Tourists are increasingly looking for unique, in-depth excursions. A large percentage of American and Canadian tourists, in my experience, are eager to learn about and partake in the local culture and cuisine. Access to rare or difficult-to-obtain experiences, or anything else that stands out from the crowd, is highly sought after by Americans. Catherine Chaulet is the chief executive officer of Global DMC Partners, a cooperative of private DMCs and event organizers

Despite the fact that Americans are often criticized for having a poor work-life balance compared to other Western nations, the rise of remote work has led to an increase in the number of US citizens bringing their families with them to conferences and other business-centric events and staying for some time afterwards.

Therefore, according to Chaulet, places that market themselves as great for both business and pleasure will do very well. The largest shift, she notes, is that American workers are now bringing their families on vacations where they may work remotely and extend their stays. There is a frequent interaction between groups and individuals.

Another notable characteristic of US visitors is their readiness to take expert advise, according to Peter Anderson, general director of Knightsbridge Circle, a membership-based luxury travel concierge service that established a US office in 2022.

According to Anderson, who works as a travel and lifestyle concierge, US members are also much more inclined to follow our advice, which results in happier customers.

The Europeans, even if it goes against our advise, have stronger opinions and know what they want. Some of our European customers have gone against our recommendations and ended up unhappy at a hotel they booked.

Multiple new international flight itineraries from the United States

New airline routes and increased service to the United States are a clear sign that the tourism industry is actively courting American tourists. While demand for air travel has been increasing worldwide since most pandemic restrictions were withdrawn, many airlines, both large and small, continue to prioritize entering the lucrative American market.

When new routes are established, it provides DMCs with a chance to reach out to that demographic.

Starting in June, British Airways has been offering five weekly summer flights (and four weekly winter flights) on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner between Cincinnati and London, which has become a very popular destination among American tourists, especially those interested in the royal family.

Qantas has now started offering service from New York’s JFK to Auckland, New Zealand, with three weekly flights, also on the Dreamliner. Tourism Australia’s Allison predicts that by the end of 2023, the number of weekly flights between the United States and Australia will have increased to 123, bringing seat capacity back up to 88% of pre-pandemic levels.

Both Turkish Airlines and Emirates are adding new flights within the United States. The four-times-weekly Seattle–Istanbul route on Turkish Airlines began in 2022, while the service to Detroit and Denver is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2023. And in April of this year, Emirates began offering nonstop flights from Newark to Dubai, a 14-hour trip.

Meanwhile, low-cost airlines are thriving, with numerous new companies and routes serving the United States. French bee, one of the pioneers, began service in 2016 with direct flights between the United States and Paris and Tahiti; the company has since dramatically expanded its US network, adding nonstop service from New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami to Paris in 2021 and 2022.

With an economy and premium cabin (but no business class) and three different ticketing options, French bee president Marc Rochet thinks the US market has responded particularly strongly to the airline’s “a la carte” approach. As an added plus, French bee only flies into Paris-Orly Airport, rather than the far more distant and frequently congested Charles de Gaulle.

Rochet adds, “From the very beginning, we zeroed in on American tourists who prioritize cost over all else when planning an overseas vacation.” Due to the high level of interest in our services from the United States market, we have decided to increase the number of flights we operate each day on all routes beginning this summer.

Other low-cost airlines have also entered the market in an effort to attract American tourists. These include ZIPAIR, a low-cost subsidiary of Japan Airlines, which has just launched service from San Francisco to Tokyo, and PLAY Airlines, an Icelandic carrier whose routes between Europe and the US stop in Reykjavik.

In fact, PLAY, which began operations in April 2022, has recently finished its busiest month ever, with May 2022 seeing a 26% increase in passenger volume, to a total of 128,894. With the addition of Amsterdam, the airline now serves four cities in the United States.

CEO Birgir Jónsson told via email that when PLAY first started flying across the Atlantic the previous year, it was the beginning of a period of rapid expansion for the company. The East Coast cities of Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. are popular with European tourists visiting the United States, and they also serve as major gateways for American tourists traveling to Iceland and the rest of Europe.

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