U.S. vacationers are spending more on summer travel this year, topping $100 billion for the first time, according to the eighth annual Allianz Travel Insurance Vacation Confidence Index. This is the first time in the survey’s eight year history that vacation spending has surpassed the $100 billion mark.
Spending habits in the U.S. have risen for the second consecutive year–the total projected spend on summer vacations, among people confident they’ll take one, is $101.1 billion, up from $89.9 billion in 2016—a 12.5 percent increase. On average, U.S. Americans will spend $1,978 on summer vacations, a 10 percent increase from 2016 ($1,798), which was an 11 percent rise from 2015 ($1,621). Vacationing Millennials (ages 18-34) will spend the least ($1,373) this summer, followed by Baby Boomers (ages 55+), who will spend $1,865, and coming in as the top spender will be Generation Xers (ages 35-54), who are expected to shell out the most on average ($2,628).
“Americans are feeling better about the economy and have loosened their purse strings for summer 2017,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “We’re happy to see that for first time in the eight year history of the Vacation Confidence Index, vacation spending will hit an impressive $100 billion. This new milestone is great news for the travel industry.”
The survey—which was conducted by national polling firm Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Allianz across a nationally representative sample of 1,009 randomly-selected adults in the U.S.—also tracks Americans’ confidence that they will be able to take a summer vacation. That confidence is up just one point since last year at 44 percent for those who are very or somewhat sure they’ll take a vacation, while slightly more than half said they are confident about the prospect of a vacation at some point in 2017. About 40 percent aren’t confident at all about taking a vacation this summer, while 9 percent have already taken one.
Even while confidence is slightly up, some U.S. Americans are questioning the overall importance of vacations. Down six points since last year, the survey found that 59 percent said that taking an annual vacation is either very or somewhat, and about one in four (23 percent) said that annual vacations are not at all important to them.
The poll also found no significant change in the so-called “vacation deficit”—the percentage of Americans who think that a vacation is important but are not confident they’ll be able to take one. In 2017, 21 percent of Americans who said an annual vacation is important to them were not confident that they’d take one, down one point from 2016 but still higher than the 19 percent who said the same in 2015.