Update on American Travel in the Period of Coronavirus—Week of June 29th

After consistently improving throughout May and early June, with the alarming rise in cases in some of the most popular and populous areas of the country, American travel sentiment has reversed course—now nearly 4 in 10 say they don’t have plans to travel for the remainder of 2020. Travel advertising, nevertheless, still has the ability to inspire happiness, particularly if it communicates many affordable, fun things to do in a safe, uncrowded destination.

 

 

IMPORTANT: These findings are brought to you from our independent research, which is not sponsored, conducted or influenced by any advertising or marketing agency. Every week since March 15th, Destination Analysts has surveyed 1,200+ American travelers about their thoughts, feelings, perceptions and behaviors surrounding travel in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and explored a variety of topics. The findings presented below represent data collected June 26th-28th.

Key Findings to Know:

  • 60 percent of American travelers feel the pandemic is going to get worse in the US—up 10 percentage points in one week.
  • Trip cancellations for July and August jumped up, and now a high of 37.4% of American travelers say they have no trip plans for the remainder of 2020.
  • Three quarters of American travelers are supportive of 14-day quarantine policies for travelers from states with high incidences of coronavirus.
  • Despite the backslide in sentiment, 35% of American travelers say they would have at least some likelihood to take a leisure trip that they have not already considered if a good opportunity presented itself soon.
  • The most commonly important trip destination attributes are uncrowded, not-too-expensive, relaxing, and fun.
  • Over half of American travelers say that seeing a travel ad would make them feel happy.
  • The features of a travel ad that would inspire the most excitement right now include discounts, pricing, safety and things to do information, as well as beach images.

Much can change in two-weeks in the time of COVID-19. With the alarming recent rise in cases in the US, concerns regarding contracting the virus returned to the levels they were at the first of May—with over 70 percent expressing high levels of concern about personally or friends and family getting it. Financial safety concerns are also rising. The percent of American travelers who feel the pandemic is going to get worse in the US in the next month jumped to 60.6%, up 10 percentage points in just one week.

 

 

When it comes to travel, for the second straight week, the perceived safety of travel activities generally declined again, returning back to levels seen a month ago. As such, three quarters are supportive of existing or potential 14-day quarantine policies for travelers from states with high incidences of coronavirus. There is even three times as much support for mask enforcement policies as opposition. With the backslide in travel sentiment, excitement for near-term travel and openness to travel inspiration also further declined from the pandemic-period high recorded June 1st. Trip cancellations for July and August jumped up this week, and now 37.4 percent of American travelers say they have no trip plans for the remainder 2020. Nearly 30 percent say they will avoid destinations they would normally consider visiting for the remainder of the year, and over 60% of these travelers say it will be in the second half of next year or later before they will consider these destinations again. 40% are now saying they will put off their next air trip for at least a year from now, and 45.4% feel nervous going too far from home for a trip. Nearly 60% report feeling like they will simply enjoy travel more next year rather than this year.

Despite the backslide in travel sentiment, 35% of American travelers say they would have a least some likelihood to take a leisure trip that they have not already considered in the next three months if a good opportunity presented itself. In choosing the destinations they want to visit, 27.3% say it is essentially important that the destination be uncrowded—over 60% of American travelers report being nervous visiting destinations that might be crowded. Otherwise, the other attributes that remain most important are not too expensive, relaxing, and fun.

 

 

Travel advertising also still has the ability to inspire joy, with over half of American travelers saying that seeing a travel ad right now would make them feel happy. Compared to a month ago, travelers are more desiring of advertising tones that are friendly, fun and inspirational.

 

 

When asked to imagine an ideal travel ad and cite the features that would inspire the most excitement to travel right now, Americans most agreed on discounts, pricing, safety and things to do information, as well as beach images. Consider also that 55.4% say they will do a lot of extra planning before traveling in this environment.

 

 

A complimentary report of these key findings is available for you to download and share.
 
You can register for our online presentation of these findings Tuesday at 11:00am EST.
 
We appreciate your support of this research from our small but mighty team of devoted tourism researchers. If you would like further and deeper insights from the complete study, you can learn more here. Please consider donating or purchasing to support this research.
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If you need shareable graphics, content for presentations, video presentations and more, please visit our COVID-19 Insights Media page here.

Update on American Travel in the Period of Coronavirus—Week of June 22nd

Concerns about contracting COVID-19 have risen back up, but a majority of American travelers still plan to travel in this environment—even taking multiple trips in the remainder of this year. Meanwhile a perceived lack of appropriate pandemic-etiquette behaviors within their own communities is affecting people’s openness to tourists in town.

 

 

IMPORTANT: These findings are brought to you from our independent research, which is not sponsored, conducted or influenced by any advertising or marketing agency. Every week since March 15th, Destination Analysts has surveyed 1,200+ American travelers about their thoughts, feelings, perceptions and behaviors surrounding travel in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and explored a variety of topics. The findings presented below represent data collected June 19th-21st.

Key Findings to Know:

With cases rising in several areas of the country, Americans concern about personally or friends/family contracting COVID-19 increased this week. Now half of American travelers feel the coronavirus situation will get worse in the US in the next month and less than 20% feel it will get better. Americans’ perceived safety of various travel activities also worsened this week, returning to the levels they were at 3 weeks ago, and this has caused some to reverse their their travel readiness. However, the increase in outbreaks has not appeared to further rattle their sense of financial security, as concerns about the virus’ impact on their personal finances and the national economy decreased. Baby Boomers do not feel as threatened by the virus in terms of their personal finances, but have graver concerns about its effect on the national economy.

 

 

The disproportionate havoc the pandemic has wreaked on travel can be seen in what activities Americans have been committing their leisure time to relative to their pre-COVID 19 lifestyle priorities. Prior to the outbreak, 6 in 10 said that leisure travel was among their highest lifestyle priorities—only behind spending time with family. Yet only 12% report having done any leisure travel in the past month. Meanwhile, Americans have been busying themselves with activities that were far likelier to be a low priority in their lifestyles prior to COVID-19, from gardening to social media.

 

 

The coronavirus outbreak also continues to adversely impact trips, with a notable increase this week in pandemic-related trip cancellations in the fall months due to the coronavirus. But there are indicators that these trips may be replaced with other travel. A month ago, 25% of American travelers said the would avoid all travel in the six month period after coronavirus; now just 7% say that. The average American traveler reports they will take 1.8 road trips and 1.0 trip by commercial airline by the end of the year. Excitement to take a trip in the next month increased from last week, as did openness to travel inspiration. Given this openness, travelers currently say they are most receptive to destination marketing in searches and social.

 

 

Meanwhile, a perceived lack of appropriate pandemic-etiquette behaviors within their own communities is affecting people’s openness to tourists in town. While many American travelers have felt positive emotions around the reopening of the economy, anxiety and frustration remain present.

 

 

After reaching a nine-week low last week, the percent of American travelers who say they do not want visitors coming to their own community right now returned to 56.8%. As shown in the infographic below, observing unsafe behavior by their fellow residents appears to contribute to this sentiment. Trust in people to behave safely should increase comfort in travel and tourism overall.

 

 

A presentation file summarizing these key findings is available for you to download and share.
 
You can register for our online presentation of these findings Tuesday at 11:00am EST.
 
We appreciate your support of this research from our small but mighty team of devoted tourism researchers. If you would like further and deeper insights from the complete study, you can learn more here. Please consider donating or purchasing to support this research.
To make sure you receive notifications of our latest findings, you can sign up here.
If you need shareable graphics, content for presentations, video presentations and more, please visit our COVID-19 Insights Media page here.

Update on American Travel in the Period of Coronavirus—Week of June 15th

As Americans begin to travel again, many are feeling drawn to destinations they are familiar with, rather than the siren of exploration.

 

 

IMPORTANT: These findings are brought to you from our independent research, which is not sponsored, conducted or influenced by any advertising or marketing agency. Every week since March 15th, Destination Analysts has surveyed 1,200+ American travelers about their thoughts, feelings, perceptions and behaviors surrounding travel in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The findings presented below represent data collected June 12th-14th.

Key Findings to Know:

  • Expectations about the virus’ course have dampened.
  • Still, nearly 70 percent will take at least one leisure trip this year.
  • The majority of American travelers feel they are informed about potential Coronavirus-related risks involved with traveling.
  • American travelers generally give a thumbs up to the hotel and airline industries’ communication about measures they are taking to protect consumers.
  • Some 4 in 10 American travelers remain lacking in confidence that they can travel safely in the current environment.
  • A majority of Americans who will be traveling in 2020 say they will avoid crowded destinations.
  • Many travelers are feeling drawn to destinations they are familiar with, rather than the siren of exploration.
  • Poor “pandemic etiquette” behavior, which is then outed in media, will indeed adversely affect the desirability of and aspiration for travel destinations.

As a number of coronavirus outbreaks have recently emerged, expectations about the virus’ course in the United States have dampened. The optimism gap has widened again, with more Americans expecting the situation to get worse and fewer expecting it will get better. Some travelers that thought they would take trips this year have walked that back for now—this week there is an uptick in Americans saying they have no plans to travel in 2020 (although, about 70 percent still say they will take at least one leisure trip this year).

 

 

The majority of American travelers feel they are informed about potential Coronavirus-related risks involved with traveling. Heightened feelings of being informed are correlated to increased travel confidence. Still, some 4 in 10 American travelers remain lacking in confidence that they can travel safely in the current environment.

 

 

How do traveling consumers currently rate the travel industry’s performance in communicating measures they have taken to keep travelers safe from this coronavirus? While it is understood that the hotel, airline and cruise industries don’t necessarily speak in collective voices, overall the hotel industry is seen as generally doing a good job communicating, and a majority also rate the airline industry highly. The cruise industry appears to need more widespread communication about their evolving health and safety practices. Those travelers who demonstrate high degrees of travel readiness rate the communication of the travel industry much better.

 

 

In terms of the deeper impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel behaviors—at least in the near-term—a majority of Americans who will be traveling in 2020 say they will avoid cruises and crowded destinations.

 

 

In addition many travelers are feeling drawn to destinations they are familiar with, rather than the siren of exploration. Over 60 percent said it was likely that the primary destination of their next leisure trip is one they have visited before. When asked about their interest in visiting destinations for the first time versus destinations they are familiar with, 37.7 percent reported that, in the current environment, destinations they are familiar with are more—or much more—appealing.

 

 

Finally, poor “pandemic etiquette” behavior by others—and a perceived lack of official control over tempering that behavior—which is then outed in media will indeed adversely affect the desirability of and aspiration for travel destinations. When asked to think of a destination they are interested in visiting, then imagine if they saw saw media coverage of that destination being crowded or people not maintaining appropriate distance from each other, and then asked how that would affect their interest in visiting, 61.2 percent of American travelers said it would consequently make them less or much less interested in visiting that destination. This week, two-thirds of American travelers report seeing such kinds of coverage in the media.

A presentation file summarizing these key findings is available for you to download and share.
 
You can register for our online presentation of these findings Tuesday at 11:00am EST.
 
We appreciate your support of this research from our small but mighty team of devoted tourism researchers. If you would like further and deeper insights from the complete study, you can learn more here. Please consider donating or purchasing to support this research.
To make sure you receive notifications of our latest findings, you can sign up here.
If you need shareable graphics, content for presentations, video presentations and more, please visit our COVID-19 Insights Media page here.

Update on American Travel in the Period of Coronavirus—Week of June 8th

More Americans feel ready to travel and are exhibiting strong conviction about their upcoming travel plans, although safety remains an integral part of their trip decision-making process.

 

 

IMPORTANT: These findings are brought to you from our independent research, which is not sponsored, conducted or influenced by any advertising or marketing agency. Every week since March 15th, Destination Analysts has surveyed 1,200+ American travelers about their thoughts, feelings, perceptions and behaviors surrounding travel in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The findings presented below represent data collected June 5th-7th.

Key Findings to Know:

  • American travelers’ feelings about their health, financial and travel safety continue to improve.
  • More Americans report they are already traveling or ready to travel.
  • 70 percent will take at least one leisure trip in the remainder of 2020.
  • Over three-quarters have a developed sense of where and when their next leisure trip will take place and the majority say there is little chance of cancellation.
  • 40 percent say their next road trip will take place this Summer.
  • Safety considerations are still important to travelers’ decision-making, from which destination they choose to visit to the hotels they select.
  • Younger generations are likelier to use a diverse set of social media and digital tools for their trip research, while Baby Boomers are more likely to concentrate their travel research activity on web searches.
  • Four in ten conventions/conference travelers would be happy to attend a convention in the Fall.

American travelers’ feelings about their health and financial safety continue to improve and perceptions of the safety of travel related activities are now better than they were in mid-March.

 

 

More Americans report they are already traveling or feel ready to travel compared to last week, and 70 percent continue to say they will take at least one leisure trip in the remainder of this year. Younger travelers —those in the Millennial and GenZ generations—and travelers in the Southern U.S. continue to be most excited to travel in the next month and open to travel inspiration.

Americans are also exhibiting conviction about their leisure travel plans, rather than tentativeness. In looking at their next leisure trip, over three-quarters (76.4%) have a developed sense of where and when this travel will take place. There is also a notable degree of confidence that this trip will happen, in spite of coronavirus issues that may arise: 52.4% say there is absolutely no—or only a slight—chance they will cancel this next trip. Nevertheless, safety considerations are still important to travelers’ decision-making, from which destination they choose for this trip, to their selection of lodging and transportation options. The majority of American travelers continue to opt for beach, outdoor and rural type experiences for their next leisure trips.

 

 

For their research and planning of this next trip, American travelers are now largely looking directly to travel providers and travel content producers rather than sources like the CDC—perhaps an additional display of their confidence about navigating the coronavirus situation. Younger generations are likelier to use a diverse set of social media and digital tools for their travel research for this next trip, while Baby Boomers are more likely to concentrate their travel research activity on web searches.

 

 

Many American travelers continue to say their next road trip will be this summer, with 40% listing June, July or August as their timing. About half that number say their next trip by air will occur in the summer; 30% say their the next commercial airline trip will be September or later in 2020, with the remainder putting it off until 2021 or later. This week, an increased number of Americans reported they have at least tentative leisure trip plans in the months of June, August, October, November and December.

To understand how employee feelings may play into when business and convention travel return, this week a series of questions were asked to gauge emotions around this type of travel in the Summer and Fall. Nearly half of employed Americans reported they would be unhappy if their employer asked them to take an out-of-state business trip in July; meanwhile, about a quarter would be happy to. However, 40.8% of those that typically travel for conventions and conferences said they would be happy if they were asked to attend a convention in the Fall (35.3% said they would be unhappy). As of this week, 25.0% of convention/conference travelers say they have at least a tentative plan to attend a group meeting in the remainder of 2020.

 

 

A presentation file summarizing these key findings is available for you to download and share.
 
You can register for our online presentation of these findings Tuesday at 11:00am EST.
 
We appreciate your support of this research from our small but mighty team of devoted tourism researchers. If you would like further and deeper insights from the complete study, you can learn more here. Please consider donating or purchasing to support this research.
To make sure you receive notifications of our latest findings, you can sign up here.
If you need shareable graphics, content for presentations, video presentations and more, please visit our COVID-19 Insights Media page here.

Update on American Travel in the Period of Coronavirus—Week of June 1st

Americans continue to exhibit signs of feeling safer and have the travel plans to prove it.

 

 

IMPORTANT: These findings are brought to you from our independent research, which is not sponsored, conducted or influenced by any advertising or marketing agency. Every week since March 15th, Destination Analysts has surveyed 1,200+ American travelers about their thoughts, feelings, perceptions and behaviors surrounding travel in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The findings presented below represent data collected May 29th-31st.

Key Findings to Know:

  • Americans continue to exhibit greater feelings of safety, including towards travel.
  • One in five are already traveling or ready to travel with no hesitations. These Americans have less concerns surrounding the virus, and are more likely to prioritize having new experiences in their lives.
  • Openness to travel inspiration and excitement to take a getaway in the next month jumped up this week.
  • The proportion of American travelers who have at least tentative trip plans in 2020 grew to nearly 7-in-10 and Americans’ next air and road trips will be sooner than they reported last week.
  • Travel is commonly seen as integral to health and wellness.
  • Road trips, staying at a beach resort, and visiting national and other parks are among the highest rated relaxing travel experiences.
  • American travelers are also getting more comfortable with tourists in their own communities.

Americans continue to exhibit greater feelings of safety, including in their perceptions of travel activities.

One in five are now already traveling or ready to travel with no hesitations. These Americans have less concerns about the impact of the virus, are more optimistic about its course. They are more likely to prioritize having new experiences in their lives and seek joy and relaxation. Conversely, these travelers are less likely to avoid long haul travel and be motivated by a staycation message. They are also more likely to be Caucasian and between 41 and 55 years old (GenX).

 

 

Openness to travel inspiration and excitement to take a getaway in the next month jumped up this week, plus Americans’ next air and road trips will be sooner than they were reporting last week. The proportion of American travelers who have at least tentative trip plans in 2020 grew to nearly 70 percent, and the months of July through November saw increases in the percent of travelers reporting they have plans in them.

 

 

What’s motivating the return to travel? It appears that travel is commonly seen as integral to health and wellness, with two-thirds of those prioritizing their emotional well-being and finding joy in their lives saying that leisure travel will be important in helping them do so. The majority of Americans who are prioritizing their stress management think that vacations are a good way to do so. What’s stressing them out? Worries about coronavirus first, then work and their finances.

After spending time with friends and family, road trips, staying at a beach resort, and visiting national and other parks are among the highest rated relaxing travel experiences.

 

 

Not only are American travelers feeling safer going out in their own communities they are also getting more comfortable with tourists in town. Three in ten even say they would be happy to see an advertisement promoting their community as a place for tourism.

A presentation file summarizing these key findings is available for you to download and share.
 
You can register for our online presentation of these findings Tuesday at 11:00am EST.
 
We appreciate your support of this research from our small but mighty team of devoted tourism researchers. If you would like further and deeper insights from the complete study, you can learn more here. Please consider donating or purchasing to support this research.
To make sure you receive notifications of our latest findings, you can sign up here.
If you need shareable graphics, content for presentations, video presentations and more, please visit our COVID-19 Insights Media page here.