Americans Are Excited to Travel
Summer weather and vaccines means steadily increasing positive traveler sentiment, according to a recent Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers.
Last year, the number of people planning to travel “in the next six months” dropped drastically, and now it’s back up to 90%. The percentage of respondents saying that COVID-19 will greatly impact their decision to travel has dropped to just 26%, the lowest since the pandemic began. Out of those surveyed, only 13% don’t have any trips currently planned at all.
When it comes to perceptions of safety, only 11% of travelers said they don’t yet feel safe traveling outside their communities. A similar amount don’t yet feel safe “opening up my community to visitors” or dining/shopping in local establishments. In other words, a vast majority of people DO feel safe with these activities. Across the board, respondents feel safer now than they have the entire pandemic.
This information is encouraging, as tour operators and travel advisors are seeing an uptick in groups planning trips again, whether for the summer or further into 2021 and beyond. Ultimately, pent-up demand has been there from the start, but is now finally starting to play out in a more widespread way.
When it comes to travelers who are waiting to get vaccinated before traveling again, that percentage has declined to 23% and continues to drop over time.
“The pent-up demand for travel after more than a year of lockdown is obvious in the most recent data,” said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. “Americans are confident that they can once again travel safely, and they are hitting the road this summer.”
As for method of travel, 31% of travelers still say they’re choosing destinations they can drive to due to COVID, as opposed to flying. International travel has been impacted, as well, with 30% of respondents saying they’re traveling within the U.S. rather than internationally because of COVID. However, 30% of respondents also said COVID-19 is not influencing their current travel plans.
Additional signs of light around the country have also started to show, as the CDC announced fully vaccinated individuals could stop wearing masks in most (but not all) settings. The guidance still calls for mask wearing where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
“Get vaccinated—or wear a mask until you do,” President Biden said during a Rose Garden address on May 13.
Read the whole study at longwoods-intl.com. Article written by Josh Veal, Managing Editor for Teach & Travel.