Why the Travel Industry Must Court Hispanics Via Culture Now


With the 2022 holidays fast approaching, Americans are prioritizing travel and experiences at the expense of goods and services according to a recent CNBC piece.

The relaxing of travel restrictions has opened a window of wanderlust as many have postponed travel plans for the past few years.  According to Mastercard Spending pulse:

  • Airline ticket sales were up more than 56% from a year ago, and rose 10.9% versus the same month in 2019. 
  • Lodging sales shot up more than 38% from a year ago, and were up 42% versus September 2019.

The increased appetite for travel will be especially voracious among Hispanics who spent an eye-popping $114 billion on domestic travel annually before the pandemic according to MMGY global.  What’s more, Hispanic travelers took 4.3 vacations over the past two years vs. 3.7 for non-Hispanics and Hispanic travelers are twice as likely to vacation outside of the U.S.  This is driven in large part by the fact that 93% of Hispanics travel with their family.

Culture is the Secret to Connecting with Hispanic Travelers

Savvy companies will dig beyond the macro data and tap into cultural insights that connect with Hispanics travelers in a meaningful way according to MMGY.

  • Hispanics have a strong desire to experience other Latino cultures and destinations, with 71% saying they would like to do so even if it is not where their family originated from.
  • Six in 10 Hispanic travelers want to learn more about their own origin and history.
  • Most Hispanic travelers (85%) have visited the country/territory of their family heritage, with 15% returning more than once a year and 22% returning yearly.
  • 57% of  Hispanics agree that they are more likely to visit a destination that embraces Hispanic cultures.
  • 52% of Hispanics said they are more likely to visit a destination if they see Hispanic representation in advertising.
  • According to Mandela Research, approximately 31% of Hispanics travel in a group of four or more, compared with the 25% for the general population.
  • Think Now Research found that 59% of Hispanics say their children influence where they decide to go on vacation, compared to 43% of non-Hispanics.
  • Based on data from MRI, 89% of Hispanics watch traditional TV, 81% listen to radio and 94% use digital media.

How Companies Can Tap Into Culture to Connect with Hispanics

  • As many Hispanics express an interest in international destinations to visit distant relatives or experience firsthand their culture of origin, emotional connections to heritage and loved ones are great opportunities for deep cultural connections.
  • Focusing on destinations, lodging and offers that appeal to large groups and children will connect with Hispanics. 
  • Advertising creative for both Hispanic and “general market” campaigns should be reflective of all target audiences and cultures.  Hispanic representation in media and advertising elicits favorable reactions from potential Hispanics deciding how and where to spend their travel budget.
  • Hispanic media preferences are fluid in terms of channels and languages.  As such, testing and optimizing several marketing tactics over the long-run is a sound approach.
  • Set up a brainstorming meeting with Captura Group’s co-founder, Lee Vann.

The sheer appetite for travel among Hispanics, coupled with the cultural motivations to do so, create a clear opportunity for forward-looking companies in the travel industry to build long-term relationships with Hispanics now. But companies better move fast: the immediate window of opportunity may be short lived.

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