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University of Florida and Carnival Cruise Line study finds shift in traveler's priorities for this Summer

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Americans caring more about the “With” rather than “Where” when planning vacations.

MIAMI – In a social listening study of 21.3 million online uses of key travel terms, the University of Florida’s Agency at UF in partnership with Carnival Cruise Line found travelers are now caring more about who they travel with, as opposed to the where they go when planning their vacations.

This is evidenced by the fact that about one in five mentions of summer vacation include a reference to doing everything together and spending quality time with loved ones, whether that be family members, a significant other or friends.

“What we perceived anecdotally has been confirmed by a dive into the language that Americans are using around travel,” said Dr. Rachel Fu, Director of the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute and Chair of the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management at the University of Florida. “Americans’ ideal destination for summer travel can now best be summed up as “anywhere and everywhere, with few expressing enthusiasm for specific locations, and instead committing to bringing besties, significant others and family along to… wherever.” 

About one in 10 mentions of summer vacation hint at a tropical, sunny or beach locale, but otherwise, destination specifics are sparse. Travel chatter indicates a desire for trips jam-packed with multiple stops, attractions and activities.

Americans are now longing for an “awaycation” as well, which to them means anywhere outside of their home, as opposed to a “staycation,” a term that had been wildly used for the past two years but has dropped significantly since 2020 and 41% year over year.

“Bringing loved ones together for a fun-filled, stress-free vacation is what we do, so we are happy to find that today’s traveler is craving just that,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. “On a Carnival cruise, we take care of all of the details – transportation, dining, entertainment, and much more – so that our guests can focus on what’s really important – quality time with those they love. From bucket list vacations and long weekend getaways to milestone celebrations and multi-generational reunions, our cruises are about creating memorable vacations together. We are as eager to continue welcoming our guests back on board throughout the summer as they are to sail.”  

And to no surprise, the pent-up demand for travel is at an all-time high. Confidence in travel has increased 58% since January, and about 63% of mentions expressed optimism about the changing travel landscape for 2022.

“Many indicators point to a 2022 summer travel season that will meet and exceed pre-pandemic levels as vacationers feel more eager than ever to reclaim the opportunities for memory-making that only travel provides,” added Dr. Fu.

Carnival Cruise Line offers fun and affordable vacations for every type of traveler with cruises from a variety of U.S. homeports to a host of beautiful destinations. As of this month, Carnival has its full fleet of 23 ships back in service, concluding an impressive and successful restart of guest operations that have set the pace for the rest of the U.S. cruise industry.

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