Market Research: ‘Travel book sales take off again as COVID-19 fears ease, says NPD

With COVID-19 rates dropping across the country, more Americans are traveling and planning spring break and other vacations. It’s no wonder that sales of travel books have also started to pick up. According to The NDP group.

“The travel industry has been completely turned upside down in 2020 and travel books have followed suit,” said Kristen McLean, book industry analyst for NPD. “But now, as more consumers get vaccinated and make travel plans, the demand for travel books is growing, once again. Although we are yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, sales are moving in the right direction. »

= According to a survey by NDP partner Civic Science, in the week ending February 6, 2022, half of Americans said they were comfortable traveling, which was down 8 points from more than the previous four weeks (week ending January 9, 2022). Comparing vaccination rates with changes in sales of travel books depending on the locations they cover, McLean noted a positive correlation. “Although there are a few outliers, such as Japan and Central America, countries and regions with higher vaccination rates tend to have higher increases in travel book sales,” McLean said. “This correlation suggests that travel planners consider the relative safety of destinations from COVID-19.”

Travel diary categories on the rise

In 2021, year-over-year unit sales for travel books began to recover, increasing 24%, but sales volume remained below pre-pandemic levels. There were some bright spots in the fastest growing travel category segments in 2021, including European and Caribbean travel titles, indicating that more consumers may be considering extending their trips outside of the United States. This year.

Led by Anthony Bourdain’s best-selling book, “World Travel: An Irreverent Guide,” the travel reference guide category gained the most share in 2021, year-over-year, growing 3 points from market share, with unit sales up 190%. Other categories on the rise point to another strong summer for domestic travel, including books on parks and campgrounds, the western United States, amusement and theme parks, and the northeastern United States. United States.

“Essays and travelogues lost the most share last year as they offset strong growth in wheelchair travel books in 2020,” McLean said. “We’ve all had to get our proxy travel fix during the pandemic, but it looks like 2022 will bring more opportunities to get back on the road and the skies,” McLean said.