Summer Travel and Spending Expected to Rise, Signaling Continued Growth in Consumer Confidence, New OAAA-Harris Poll Research Finds

As marketers seek to reach shoppers over the next few months, out of home advertising shows renewed, strong engagement for brands, especially across pharmaceuticals, video streaming networks, luxury, and alcohol

NASHVILLE, TN – March 29, 2023 Americans remain undaunted when it comes to spring and summer spending on travel, gifts, and luxury items. That’s the overarching view from a Harris Poll survey conducted with the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), the national trade association for the entire out of home (OOH) media ecosystem.

Emerging from the uncertainty of the last few years, these latest findings pinpoint where consumer spending is the strongest right now, examine how any lingering unease is impacting spending priorities, and highlight key categories where OOH advertising is highly effective.

“Americans are adapting to continuous volatility with a new strategy: patience. While spending intent remains strong – especially in travel and experience-seeking – nearly half of all springtime shoppers are not tied to a specific timeline. Instead, they are moving week-to-week so as not to expose their household budgets to unnecessary risk. Overall, the mood remains upbeat because we want to travel, spend time with family and friends, and enjoy life,” said John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll.

The report, “OOH Consumer Insights & Intent — Q1 2023,” examines consumer attitudes towards OOH ads from pharmaceutical companies, video streaming networks, luxury apparel brands, and alcoholic beverage marketers.

The topline findings include:

  • Summer Travelers Devoting More Dollars to Travel: A third of travelers (32%) surveyed plan on spending more on 2023 summer vacation compared to 2022. About 78% of the increased spenders say they expect to spend up to 50% more this summer versus the same period last year.
  • Summer Vacation Travel is up, but Slightly Shortened From 2022: Almost 90 percent of consumers plan to travel (89%), up from 85 percent last year. Six in 10 (59%) summer vacationers plan on taking less than two weeks off, while four in 10 (41%) plan on taking two weeks or more, which is down slightly from summer 2022 vacationers (48%). 
  • And Some Groups Are Looking for Longer R&R: The groups most likely to take 2+ weeks for vacation are Gen Zers (49%), Urban 1M+ (45%), men (44%), and Gen Xers (43%).
  • Personal Trips: Personal vehicles (75%) remain the most common mode of transportation planned among summer travelers, with planes (59%) in second place followed by trains (15%), buses (10%), and subway/light rails (9%).
  • A Continued Shift Back to IRL: With concerns about COVID at record lows, consumers are looking to real life experiences this summer. Almost 90 percent plan to visit beaches or lakes (89%), and about two-thirds plan to stay in hotels during their vacation (66%).
  • Highest Intended Spending Expected in May: About 47% of springtime shoppers say they are not tied to a specific timeline for shopping for holiday/event gifts. Roughly a quarter of respondents plan to spend “a little each month,” while 23% have no monthly budgeting set in place. Meanwhile, 57% of Boomers and 54% of women are the most likely to keep options open on a monthly basis. Overall, the month of May generates the highest intended spend at 20%.
  • OOH Ads are Especially Influential With Younger Springtime Shoppers: Over half of Gen Z and Millennial shoppers say OOH ads impact their spring holiday or event gift purchases, with Mother’s Day leading the way (77% and 70%, respectively).

“Despite these unpredictable times, consumer confidence is growing. There’s a renewed desire to spend on travel and in-person experiences, and our research sheds light on OOH’s impressive impact here,” said Anna Bager, President and CEO, OAAA. “A third of consumers plan on spending more on summer vacations this year. This is a huge opportunity across national and local brands to engage the OOH medium.”

With the amount of seasonal spending and the modes of transportation people are factoring into their spring and summer plans, the opportunities to engage these consumers via OOH advertising is clear. That’s particularly true for marketing categories in medical drugs, high-end apparel, connected TV, and alcoholic beverages.

Consumer interest in OOH advertising messages is high across these categories: TV/video streaming product category (86%), alcoholic beverages (80%), pharmaceutical products (79%), and luxury apparel  (77%).

The ability to capture consumers’ attention is further manifested in the significant notice rates The Harris Poll recorded for those product categories. For example, OOH ads for alcoholic beverages ranked highest with 64% of Americans 21 or older saying they remembered a placement. Alcohol OOH ad recall was followed by TV/video streaming (59%), pharmaceutical products (54%), and luxury apparel  (47%).

The report found engagement after seeing an OOH placement for pharmaceutical, luxury apparel, or TV/video streaming is most likely to be a variation of online interaction (e.g., visit the company site, search for the brand/product online) while engagement for alcoholic beverages is most likely to lead to purchasing a product at a retail store.

Join Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema and OAAA’s Steve Nicklin on Wednesday, April 5th from 2-3 pm ET as they dive into actionable insights and reveal OOH opportunities from this latest consumer insights study. Register for the webinar here to secure your spot.


The Harris Poll conducted the online survey from February 14-21, 2023, with a representative sample of 1,005 U.S. Adults 18-64. Data is weighted to reflect the U.S. general public across age, gender, race/ethnicity, region, income, household size, and employment.