Travel book sales take off again as COVID-19 fears ease, says NPD

As spring break approaches, year-over-year sales of print books in the travel category are up 40% this year over last, according to NPD BookScan.

PORT WASHINGTON, NY, March 9, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — 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. In fact, print book sales in the travel category are up 40% year-to-date to February 19, 2022compared to the same period in 2021, according to The NPD 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 are vaccinated and planning trips, the demand for travel books is increasing, once again. Although we have not yet reached pre-pandemic levels, sales are moving in the right direction.”

According to a survey conducted by NPD partner Civic Science, during the week ending February 6, 2022half of Americans said they were comfortable traveling, up 8 points from 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 some outliers, like Japan and central Americacountries and regions with higher vaccination rates tended 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 the European and Caribbean travel documents, indicating that more consumers may consider extending their trips outside the United States this year.

Directed by by Anthony Bourdain Top-selling bestseller, “World Travel: An Irreverent Guide,” the travel reference guide category gained the most share in 2021, year-on-year, up 3 points in share, with unit sales up 190%. Other rising categories point to another strong summer for domestic travel, including books on parks and campgrounds, the US Westamusement and theme parks, and Northeastern 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.

About NPD Books
With the explosion of content generated by print books, video-on-demand streaming services, podcasts and audiobooks, our culture is increasingly dominated by the stories we tell. In this interconnected media landscape, books are the starting point for some of today’s most popular media properties. But as the evolution of retail and consumers accelerates, it can be difficult to make sense of it all. We work with all of the major publishing, retail, media and toy players in the United States to understand the evolution of digital and print content. Our book industry experts know the world of publishing inside out; they tap into our point-of-sale data to help you make better, faster decisions in today’s market.

About the NPD Group
NPD is a global market intelligence company that offers data, industry expertise and prescriptive analytics to help our clients understand today’s retail landscape and prepare for the future. More than 2,000 companies worldwide rely on us to help them measure, predict and improve performance across all channels, including physical, e-commerce and B2B. We have services in 19 countries around the world, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and APAC. Practice areas include apparel, home appliances, automotive, beauty, books, B2B technology, consumer technology, e-commerce, fashion accessories, food consumption, catering, footwear , home, home improvement, children’s products, multimedia entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail. , sports, toys and video games. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.

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Lee GrahamThe NPD Group, 917-806-7902,