Travel Insights: Hispanic Traveler Audience
Travel & Tourism
The Hispanic population is one of the fastest growing audiences in the United States, growing at 23% since 2010, and currently making up roughly 19% of the U.S. Population. With increased scale and $1.9T in purchasing power, this diverse group is an important audience for travel brands to understand and reach. Hispanic travelers took almost 2 more trips in a year vs. non-Hispanic travelers, and spent more per vacation (nearly $300 difference). Their open-mindedness to new experiences, passion for their familial and cultural roots, and power of influence contribute to their unique preferences in travel.
While this piece was inspired by Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15 – Oct 15), we acknowledge that this audience is diverse with unique nuances to various countries of origin. The post below and attached slides are key findings from a variety of recent research studies intended to serve as a high-level overview to inspire deeper conversation around this rich audience. Should you have any questions about how to reach and engage this audience, feel free to reach out.
1. For the Hispanic audience, family is a top priority and is an integral aspect of their lives and their travels.
- Kid-friendly and family attractions are likely, as children have a strong influence on where they go on vacation: 60% of Hispanic individuals agreed with “My children influence where we decide to go on vacation” compared to 43% of non-Hispanic individuals. – ThinkNow Research
- Hispanic travelers have a higher affinity than the general population for family-friendly destinations such as Disneyland (1.90x) – Helixa MRI Fusion
- Parents use travel as a way to pass on their culture to their children: Travelocity found that half of Latino parents (49%) said that they teach future generations about their heritage through cultural trips. – Travelocity data via Yahoo
Implications: For travel brands, attracting the valuable Hispanic visitor means helping provide parents with trips which will appeal to their children, especially if the kids can play a part in selecting where to go and what to do – consider creating tools or games the family can play together to make decisions. The enjoyment of the trip will be further heightened by incorporating Hispanic heritage and connection into the experience.
2. The Hispanic audience takes pride in their heritage, race, and ethnicity as a core aspect of their personal identity.
- 60% of Hispanics feel highly connected to their heritage vs. only 47% rest of pop – Kantar U.S. Monitor
- Just over half agreed that Hispanic representation in a destination’s marketing made a difference in their decision-making – MMGY and Travel Unity
- Hispanic travelers are more likely to be music lovers than general travelers 31% vs. 22% – Helixa MRI Fusion
- Hispanic travelers tend to be food influencers – sharing their opinions with others. “People often ask my advice when it comes to food” 14% | 1.39x – Helixa MRI Fusion
Implications: The connection Hispanic visitors have to their heritage runs deep; the more travel brands and destinations can bring that to the forefront in marketing their music, food and other cultural offerings the more they will deepen their relationship with this gigantic number of travelers.
3. Even more so than the general populations, Hispanics have an enthusiasm for learning new things and an open mindedness to novel experiences.
- I am more likely to choose a brand if it exposes me to new sensations or experiences 77% vs. 62% rest of pop – Kantar U.S. Monitor
- 80% of Hispanic respondents feel more than in recent past, they feel energized and enthusiastic about the possibilities ahead in life. Vs. 74% of rest of pop – Kantar U.S. Monitor
- 85% of Hispanics would welcome more novelty and change in their life vs. 74% rest of pop – Kantar U.S. Monitor
Implications: While maintaining a connection to their heritage is essential for Hispanic visitors, travel brands would do well to also ensure that they’re offering these travelers new and unexpected experiences. Behind-the-scenes tours will offer a different perspective than the “mainstream” experience and demonstrating your brands’ resilience coming out of the pandemic with new menu items or a newly-opened attraction will go a long way towards reinforcing that you offer more than you have before.
4. The Hispanic audience can be best reached online – and on their terms.
- 58% of Hispanics agree “my smartphone is an important tool for me as a shopper” vs. 42% rest of pop – Kantar U.S. Monitor
- Social media involvement: 74% of Hispanics vs. 64% rest of pop – Kantar U.S. Monitor
- 50% of Hispanics choose English as their preferred language with only 34% preferring Spanish (16% are open to both). – Kantar U.S. Monitor
- 70% of respondents prefer to be referred to as Hispanic vs. 24% Latino/a and only 6% LatinX – Kantar U.S. Monitor
Implications: Travel brands must know not only where to reach potential Hispanic visitors, but also how to speak with them. Ramp up your social spend, find communities where Hispanics gather online, and tug at their heart strings with genuine emotion. The more you reinforce your respect and knowledge of their heritage via support of key organizations the better, and any way you can enable a connection to the rest of their family in other parts of the world will be welcomed and appreciated (even if that just means free wi-fi in a visitor center or other public space).
5. Hispanics consider themselves to be early adopters and influencers in their circle of friends and relatives; they are more likely to try new experiences and share those experiences with others, and they actively crave more ways to share their cultural pride and point of view with the world.
- I am usually one of the first people in my group of friends to accept new ideas or try new things 68% vs. 57% rest of pop – Kantar U.S. Monitor
- Family & friends often ask me for information about or my opinion on new brands and products 68% vs. 58% rest of pop. – Kantar U.S. Monitor
- 72% wish they had more ways to show the world how proud they are of their culture and heritage vs. 52% general pop – Kantar U.S. Monitor
Implications: Recognizing that there is “badge value” to your experience is a great way for travel brands to demonstrate to Hispanic visitors that you understand what it is they’re most looking for – connection. Give them ways and tools to share their experience (create “selfiespots,” for example), and find ways to let them in on things that haven’t yet been shared with the general population.