The Impact of Hispanic Representation on the Travel Industry

May 23, 2022 Author: ThinkNow

A decade ago, the Hispanic travel market was a niche, and many marketing agencies considered it too small to devote time and resources to. Fast forward to the present, and agencies are now eager to tap into the trillion-dollar market, and for a good reason. Research shows that Hispanics travel more across all income levels, especially among affluent Hispanics with household incomes of $80K+. They tend to spend more while traveling and travel with larger parties.

In 2019, Hispanics spent $113.9 billion on domestic leisure travel, accounting for 13% of all domestic leisure travel that year. But the travel industry is still leaving money on the table and could benefit from making a few tweaks in its outreach to Hispanics and other underrepresented groups.

Hispanic Travel Habits

As with all underrepresented groups, Hispanics want to feel seen and heard by the travel industry, from advertising to bookings. This starts with a deep understanding of Hispanics and how identity, language, culture, and other factors impact their behavior, motivations, and purchase decisions. Hispanics are poised to become 30% of the U.S. population by 2050 and are rapidly joining the middle class, making connecting with them a top priority.

Essential to building relationships with Hispanics is addressing stereotypes and false assumptions. Click To Tweet As mentioned earlier, Hispanics are becoming increasingly affluent. It’s often said that if they were an independent country, they’d have the world’s seventh-largest economy. U.S. Hispanic travelers spend more money and travel more than the non-Hispanic U.S. population. To be exact, 31% of U.S. Hispanics travel internationally compared to 18% of non-Hispanics. Texas, California, and Florida are their top three domestic destinations.

An affluent Hispanic traveler spends an average of $6,000 per trip, about 30% more than the rest of U.S. travelers, and makes two more trips per year. This will only increase as more U.S. Hispanics enter the middle class.

Hispanic Representation

As immigration slows, language habits among U.S. Hispanics are shifting, which could impact marketing messages. Although many Hispanics speak or are familiar with the Spanish language, they prefer to speak English or only speak English, especially younger demographics like Gen Alpha, Gen Z and some Millennials. Neither of these groups like being targeted in Spanish.

Marketers need to deliver cultural relevance. Click To Tweet Hispanics want to be represented in American society, not reduced to cheezy Spanish language commercials that skew more toward parody than fact. Hispanic representation requires cultural research, which dives into the nuances of this audience, and creatively uses language to communicate culture.

Finding the Balance

Hispanics are shaking up the travel industry, and wielding their influence to change the narrative of Hispanic travelers. Travel brands, including those in hospitality, entertainment and dining, and destination management, must work to ensure Hispanics feel that their culture is seen and welcomed in those spaces and thoughtfully integrated into all aspects of it. The company that can find the right balance in marketing to Hispanics will tap into a massive revenue opportunity.