US holiday spend to reach record levels


Americans’ summer holiday spend is set to surpass US$100 billion for the first time this year, according to Allianz Global Assistance.

Allianz’s latest Vacation Confidence Index, released on 5 July, has noted a 12.5-per-cent increase in summer holiday spend by US travellers in 2017, the second consecutive rise in two years. Total projected spend for this year is $101.1 billion (compared with $89.9 billion in 2016), the first time in the Vacation Confidence Index’s eight-year history that the total will pass $100 billion. On average, Americans will spend $1978 each on summer holidays, a 10-per-cent increase from the $1798 spent in 2016, which was in turn 11-per-cent higher than 2015 (when it was $1621).

“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 [the] first time … vacation spending will hit an impressive $100 billion. This new milestone is great news for the travel industry.” With this spend in mind, Durazo went on to say, ‘travel insurance is a must-have’: “The right travel insurance policy can protect a consumer’s pre-paid travel expenses when they have to cancel their trip due to certain unexpected situations, such as a covered illness or injury, and it may also provide reimbursements for things like medical emergencies, delayed travel, and lost or delayed baggage.”

Of those American travellers who responded to Allianz’s survey, 44 per cent are confident they will take a summer trip this year (up one percentage point from 2016), while 51 per cent (also up one point) are confident about the prospect of taking a trip at some point during 2017.