Spread the love

Mastercard-logoThe travel industry is experiencing a remarkable resurgence in 2024, breaking previous boundaries with soaring passenger traffic and longer vacation stays. According to the latest report from the Mastercard Economics Institute, consumer spending on travel has shown robust growth through March 2024. The “Travel Trends 2024” report, released today, offers comprehensive insights into the evolving landscape of the travel industry across 74 markets.

The report highlights significant findings relevant to Caribbean economies, revealing that the region is a major player in the top trending destinations for American travellers. Notably, Oranjestad in Aruba ranks as the second most popular destination, followed by Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic (5th), San Juan in Puerto Rico (6th), and Santiago in the Dominican Republic (10th).

Globally, Oranjestad, Aruba, emerges as the tenth top trending destination for the summer of 2024. For Latin American travellers, Punta Cana holds the eighth spot.

The Caribbean’s travel recovery is progressing swiftly, with countries offering relatively affordable hotel options seeing exceptional performance, ultimately benefiting their economies. The average vacation duration has increased significantly, with the global average rising from 4.5 days in 2020 to 5.5 days in 2024. In Barbados, for instance, the average stay has extended from 7.8 days to 8.5 days, driven by factors such as affordability and favourable climate conditions.


Key Global Tourism Findings

The “Travel Trends 2024” report draws on a unique analysis of aggregated and anonymized transaction data, including Mastercard SpendingPulse™ and third-party data sources. Key global travel trends identified in the report include:

  1. Record Travel Numbers: An all-time high of 15.9 million Americans travelled internationally in Q1 2024.
  2. Extended Vacations: Tourists are extending their vacations by an average of one day, influenced by affordable destinations and warmer climates.
  3. Experience Economy: Consumers now prioritize experiences over material goods while travelling, with experiences representing 12% of tourism sales — the highest point in at least five years.
  4. Cruise Travel Surge: Cruise travel demand has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, driven by its affordability compared to hotels. The Bahamas saw an additional 2.9 million passengers arrive by sea compared to 2019.
  5. Top Destinations: Japan leads in tourist activity, while Munich tops the list for summer tourism. Albania ranks third among European countries for its cost-effective appeal.

Michelle Meyer, chief economist and head of the Mastercard Economics Institute, commented on the findings: “The resilience and adaptability of the travel sector paired with persistent consumer demand will mean a thriving 2024 for tourism. Just like at home, travelers are prioritizing experiences over goods while abroad. Yet, today’s travelers are discerning, choosing destinations that offer both value and authenticity. They are savvy enough to stretch their funds and extend their stays, immersing themselves fully in the wonders of each locale.”

Mastercard’s Role in Global Tourism

Mastercard remains dedicated to supporting the global tourism sector by offering various services. These include market analysis and high-frequency data insights that help make sense of changing consumer trends and customer engagement strategies that personalize the travel experience and drive brand loyalty. With comprehensive travel benefits and convenience, cardholders can enjoy their travel experiences and everyday purchases with peace of mind.

View the complete “Travel Trends 2024” report here for more detailed insights. Additional reports and insights from the Mastercard Economics Institute are available here.




Written by: Don Power