The top travel brands and destinations among Americans in 2022
February 16th, 2022, Hoang Nguyen

The top travel brands and destinations among Americans in 2022

When we reflect on 2021 to get a sense of where travel brands sit with consumers in the new year, several companies have reason to be optimistic. A new report from YouGov analyzes the brands and destinations that managed to break through and resonate strongly with consumers over the last year.

Using data from YouGov BrandIndex - which measures consumer perceptions toward brands on a daily basis - we determined our travel rankings, basing them on each brand’s average Impression score over the course of the last year. Impression is a measure of whether a consumer has a positive or negative impression of a brand.

Download the full report for insights into the trends, challenges and opportunities the travel sector faces in 2022

We looked across airlines, hotels, amusement parks and travel agencies to identify the brands that resonated strongly with US consumers to get sense of their standing in 2022.

Leading all travel brands is Marriott—the world’s largest hotel company—with an Impression score of 44.3. Another collection of hotels under Marriott’s branding, Courtyard by Marriott, also earns a spot on the list at number three (37.2). Courtyard by Marriott has the largest global footprint of all brands in Marriott’s portfolio and is expected undergo a major face lift soon in the form of exterior renovations and landscaping updates by 2024.

In no other country do hotels account for more top ten spots than they do in our US ranking. Their stellar performance this year is likely linked to the popularity of domestic travel in the US amid the pandemic.

Major hotel chain Hilton is the runner-up this year with a score of 40.3 and it’s joined by two hotel brands under its portfolio—Hampton by Hilton (30.7) and Embassy Suites by Hilton (28.8).

Rounding out the list of hotels that earn a spot this year are Holiday Inn (36.3) and Holiday Inn Express (33.6). The inclusion of the latter in the top five demonstrates that there’s a place for both quality and value in our Travel Brand Ranking.

When it comes to theme parks, Universal Studios (32.3) and Disneyland/Disney World (29.3) are two of the biggest names in the game. They both earn spots on this year’s rankings, signalling the warm reception to their reopening in the US.

As the only airline to claim a spot on this year’s list, Southwest (29.6) is no stranger to accolades. The Texas-based carrier was also named as one of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies for 2021 (at no. 14).

Get in touch to see where your brand or destination—and your competitors’—ranks

Top destinations for US travelers in 2022

Americans give first place to Italy in this year's Destination Ranking. The country scores highest in terms of Impression in January 2022 and also features as the top destination among French and British consumers, marking a strong rebound for Italy after it struggled for positive Impression at the height of the pandemic.

Four European destinations feature in all on the US list, including Sweden (no. 5), the UK (no. 6), Iceland (no. 7) and Barcelona, Spain (no. 9).

Hawaii is also extremely popular with Americans and appears three times on the top ten list. The destinations include the island of Hawaii (no. 2), Hawaii as an overall state (no. 4) and Maui (no. 8). Tourism to the state surged when the islands reopened to visitors in late 2020 and general Impression of the three Hawaiian destinations has improved at least somewhat since January 2021.

Download YouGov’s Brand and Destination Rankings 2022 report for deeper insights into what the year has in store for travel companies and destinations around the globe


The data included in the YouGov Travel and Tourism Brand and Destination Rankings 2022 has been drawn from YouGov BrandIndex and YouGov DestinationIndex respectively. The markets included in this report are UK, US, China, Japan, Germany, UAE, Indonesia, France and Australia.

For the brand ranking, brands were ranked based on their Impression score, which is a measure of whether a consumer has a positive or negative impression of a brand calculated by taking the average net score for the year of 2021 (1st January 2021 – 31st December 2021). Consumers were asked “Which of the following brands do you have a positive impression of?”, then "Which of the following brands do you have a negative impression of?".

For the destination ranking, consumers were asked “Overall, which of the following destinations do you have a positive impression of?” then "Overall, which of the following destinations do you have a negative impression of?". The score shown is the average net score from January 2022 vs. January 2021.

The brand and destination rankings charts show those brands/destinations which received the highest average score. The scores for both the brand and destination ranking are representative of the general population of adults 18+ for all markets (Indonesia and China are online representative).

All scores listed have been rounded to a single decimal place; however, we have used additional precision to assign ranks. All brands must be tracked for at least six months to be included in either ranking.

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