June 2, 2023


Just Do Travel

USTOA Survey Points to a 2021 Travel Recovery

A United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) survey proffered up some good news on the resurgence of travel by year’s end, with nine of 10 Active Members noting they are witnessing a rise in sales, and eight of 10 “enthusiastic” to “cautiously optimistic” about the resurgence of business.

Nearly half (49 percent) of respondents were “cautiously optimistic” about business picking up, while 24 percent were “optimistic” and approximately 7 percent were “enthusiastic.”


Just 11 percent said they were “not optimistic,”, and 9 percent said they were “negative” about the prospect of business increasing by year’s end.

“Optimism for recovery even as early as 2021 is hi

Italy: Amalfi Coast to Puglia
The most popular international destination for 2021 bookings was Italy. Pictured, the Amalfi Coast. (photo via Collette)

gh, which is a positive sign for our members and the industry, especially as this survey was conducted just prior to the recent news of a potential return to Europe and U.S. cruising by summer,” said USTOA President and CEO Terry Dale.

“Right now, 56 percent of our Active Members are currently operating. And reports of customer feedback have been extremely positive, reinforcing the peace of mind our members offer travelers.”

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Eighty percent of respondents said they are witnessing an increase in bookings, and 43 percent with U.S. programs said they have added new itineraries and tours this year.

Respondents said the top U.S. booking destinations this year is Alaska. “Arizona and Utah tied in second with Florida and Wyoming tied for third,” the survey said. “Alaska was also named the top domestic destination that travelers are booking for the year ahead (2022) with Florida and Utah tied for second,” with Hawaii coming in third.

“It is with little surprise that our members are seeing an increased demand for U.S. travel based on what we knew of international border re-openings at the time of the survey,” Dale said. With more news of planned re-openings from Europe and other international locations, it’s likely we will see this percentage shift again as we get further into 2021.”

Respondents said the most most popular international destinations for 2021 bookings was Italy. “Ireland and the United Kingdom tied for second, followed by Costa Rica, Egypt, Iceland, and Mexico tied for third,” the survey said. “Italy was also named the top international destination that travelers are booking for 2022. Germany came in second, followed by France, Greece, and Ireland tied in third.”