NEW YORK -- Conservative travelers are more optimistic as a
bunch, but liberal travelers are more likely to have a little bit more fun on
vacation, according to MMGY's Portrait of the American Travelers 2018-2019
Steve Cohen, senior vice president of travel insights at
MMGY, presented the survey's findings Tuesday at MMGY's office here.
This year, MMGY broke out some traveler sentiments based on
political affiliation. Of the 2,967 who responded to the survey, 32% identified
themselves as liberals (up from 26% in 2017) and 29% identified themselves as
conservative (down from 32% in 2017). The remaining 39% did not identify
themselves one way or the other, and that data was not considered for the
According to Cohen, liberal travelers are likely to have
spent more on travel in the past 12 months ($4,859 versus conservatives'
$4,188), and plan to spend more in the next 12 months ($4,790 versus $4,165).
They are also likely to take more vacations; in the past twelve months, they've
taken an average of 3.1 compared to conservatives' 2.7, and in the next 12
months plan to take 2.9 compared to conservatives' 2.5.
As to vacation motivations, most conservatives and liberals
said the top one is relaxation (90% of liberals and 94% of conservatives).
Statistically, Cohen said liberals are more likely to gravitate more toward
five categories than conservatives: exploration, experiencing different
cultures, experiencing new cuisines, self-discovery and meeting new people.
A number of liberal and conservative travelers book via
OTAs, Cohen said, but liberals tend to visit more travel service provider
websites, comparison shopping sites or review websites. Liberal travelers are
more likely to use ridesharing and home-sharing than conservative travelers.
MMGY pulled data on optimism, and found conservative
travelers are more optimistic as a group about every topic MMGY asked about:
the future of their children (86% versus 75%), their own future (82% versus
77%), the future of their jobs (74% versus 67%), the future of the company they
work for (70% versus 58%), the future of America (66% versus 22%) and the
future of the world (49% versus 32%).
And as to vacation behaviors, liberals on vacation reported
eating more, drinking more alcohol and having more sex than their conservative
"So you might come to the conclusion that while
conservatives are much more optimistic about the future and all those things
that we showed, if you're going to go on vacation it looks like a liberal is
having a little bit more fun," Cohen said.