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The latest wave of Longwoods International’s American travel sentiment tracking study has revealed that 90 percent of U.S. travelers are planning to travel within the next six months. That’s the highest percentage observed since Longwoods began its biweekly survey series as the pandemic became full-fledged in March 2020.
Now, only 30 percent indicated that COVID-19 will greatly impact their travel decisions in the next six months, the lowest percentage seen in 15 months. Just over half of those surveyed said they’d found it necessary to alter existing travel plans due to the pandemic at this point, an even lower percentage than was witnessed at the start of the study.
Even so, and despite the easing of COVID-related restrictions in many parts of the country, health and safety does remain a concern among many would-be travelers. Half of survey respondents said that pandemic safety protocols being in place at their destination will be a top factor in their decisions about where to travel this summer and fall.
“The steady increase in the country’s vaccination rate, and the declines in new coronavirus case numbers and deaths continues to build demand for travel,” said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. “We expect a robust recovery for the leisure segment of the U.S. travel and tourism industry this year, after a devastating 2020.”
Regarding the possibility that certain destinations and travel-related businesses may require travelers to provide “vaccine passports” (i.e., proof of vaccination), one-third of respondents said that they’re more likely to patronize those that do require such proof. Close to one-third reported that vaccination requirements would have no influence on their travel choices, while about one-fifth said they’ll only consider destinations that require proof of vaccination. A somewhat smaller portion of participants are either less likely to visit places with vaccination requirements or would avoid them altogether.
Americans are also keeping a wary eye on travel costs as they begin to plan their post-pandemic getaways. Forty percent of the survey group indicated that the costs of both accommodations and transportation will influence their travel selections over the next six months.
“Gas prices are on the rise and there is surging demand for paid accommodations to traditional summer vacation destinations, especially along coastal areas and resorts,” said Eylon. “This may create opportunities for lesser-known destinations in regional domestic markets to target those travelers keeping an eye on their travel budget.”
Supported by Miles Partnership, the survey was fielded May 12, 2021, using a randomly drawn national sample of 1,000 adult American consumers, ages 18 and over. Quotas for age, gender and region were applied to match U.S. Census targets, making the results are representative of the U.S. population as a whole.
For more information, visit Longwoods-intl.com/covid-19.