U.S. Hispanic Travelers Spent $113.9 Billion on Domestic Travel According to New MMGY Global Study

The comprehensive report from MMGY Global reveals the importance Hispanics place on representation in travel marketing and the power of travel to connect with family and culture

MMGY Global announced today key findings from its latest study on underrepresented travelers, Vistas Latinas: A Landmark Study on U.S. Travelers of Hispanic Descent. The study, whose name means Latin viewpoints, is the first travel research of its kind to examine the attitudes, opinions and sentiment of travelers from the United States’ fastest growing demographic group and follows MMGY Global’s release of The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities report earlier this year. Vistas Latinas is also the first study to assess the spending power of U.S. Hispanic travelers, finding they spent $113.9 billion on domestic leisure travel in 2019 and accounted for 13% of all domestic leisure travel that year.

The full report details far more than spending power in order to paint a more nuanced picture of Hispanic travelers – revealing how identity, language, culture, age and other factors impact travel behaviors, decisions and preferences. All proceeds from the sale of the study will be donated to Travel Unity, a non-profit focused on increasing diversity in the world of travel through individual and community empowerment.

Hispanic Travelers & Representation

America’s Hispanic population is a melting pot of rich cultures, so it is important to note that MMGY Travel Intelligence has used an innovative approach to fielding the survey to mirror the distribution of the Latino population in the United States, and as such provides actionable insights based on where Hispanic travelers live and where their travels might take them.

Of those surveyed for Vistas Latinas – most said they were born in the United States (83%) and a majority indicated their parents were also born in the U.S. Half of respondents indicated their family originated from Mexico, while a quarter of respondents surveyed said they were of Caribbean heritage (Puerto Rican, Dominican or Cuban).

Key findings include:

  • The vast majority – 80% of Hispanic travelers – prefer to identify as Hispanic, while 25% prefer Latino/Latina and 3% prefer the term Latinx (respondents could choose more than one preferred term). 

  • Fifty-seven percent agreed they are more likely to visit a destination that embraces Hispanic cultures and celebrates Hispanic business and cultural contributions.

  • Fifty-two percent of respondents said they are more likely to visit a destination if they see Hispanic representation in the destination’s advertising and/or marketing materials.

  • Hispanic travelers are predominantly consuming all forms of media in English.

Trends Among Hispanic Travelers 

While there is great diversity among Hispanics, Vistas Latinas has identified some commonalities that point to strong connections between family, travel and culture.

  • The overwhelming majority (93%) travel with their family. Of that percentage, 59% indicated they travel with immediate family, 30% with parents and 28% with adult siblings.

  • There is a strong desire to experience other Latino cultures and destinations, with 71% saying they would like to do so even if it is not where their family originated from.

  • Six in 10 Hispanic travelers want to learn more about their own origin and history.

  • The top three domestic destinations for Hispanic overnight travelers are California (21%), Texas (15%) and Florida (14%). This correlates to the three states with the highest number of Hispanic residents.

  • Most Hispanic travelers (85%) have visited the country/territory of their family heritage, with 15% returning more than once a year and 22% returning yearly.

The Vistas Latinas study was created to provide a better understanding of the diverse and growing Hispanic population in the U.S., which according to the 2020 Census is now 62.1 million strong. The study analyzed findings from both MMGY Global’s 2019 Shifflet TRAVEL PERFORMANCE/MonitorSM, which profiled 3,894 Hispanic leisure travelers within the United States, and a new custom survey of 3,000 active Hispanic travelers. The most recent study was conducted this year in English and Spanish and analyzed the current needs, opinions and attitudes of Hispanic travelers in the United States, making it the most significant study on this traveling group to date.

“It is more important than ever to understand the nuanced behaviors and needs of travelers in underrepresented communities. For our company, our clients and our partners in the Vistas Latinas study, it is crucial to have this data in order to grow the travel industry and ensure people from all walks of life and with different interests feel included,” remarked MMGY Global CEO Clayton Reid.

MMGY Global and its supporting sponsors – Destination Cleveland, Discover Puerto Rico, Hilton, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, NYC & Company, Travel Oregon and Tripadvisor – are proud to share that MMGY Global will donate 100% of its total profits from sales of the report to non-profit study partner Travel Unity. Travel Unity’s mission is to make the world of travel welcoming to people of all backgrounds and abilities. To purchase Vistas Latinas: A Landmark Study on U.S. Travelers of Hispanic Descent, visit the MMGY Travel Intelligence website.

“Travel Unity thanks MMGY Global and all of the sponsors of this study for supporting research to better understand the viewpoints of Hispanic travelers,” said Roni Weiss, Executive Director of Travel Unity. “We look forward to the industry utilizing these findings to make travel more welcoming to these previously under-researched communities.”