Traveler Optimism Grows, Vaccines Key to Full Recovery
According to the latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers, eight in ten American travelers have travel plans during the next six months. This remains steady from the last wave conducted two weeks ago and is approaching pre-pandemic levels. This increase in travel intentions is driven by a lower percentage of travelers reporting COVID-19 is greatly impacting their travel decisions during the same period of time – from two-thirds of travelers last April to only four in ten now, coupled with optimism about the vaccine.
Of those planning their first post-COVID trips, visiting friends and family is the top trip priority with 45% anticipating this as their next leisure trip. This is followed by one third going to the beach or other waterfront vacations and another third planning road trips. The coronavirus continues to influence the types of trips being planned, favoring domestic drive destinations over air travel and international excursions.
“We are encouraged by the high percentage of travelers in trip-planning mode in the two most recent survey waves. Traveler optimism continues to track with the drop in new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, as well as the progress in vaccine distribution,” said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. “As long as these positive trends continue, we would expect to see steady improvement for the U.S. travel industry.”
A third of American travelers say the vaccine has no impact on their travel plans. While two in five travelers do not plan to take a trip until they are vaccinated, one in five are looking more broadly and considering the vaccination of their friends and family, America overall or in the destination of their choice.
The survey, supported by Miles Partnership, was fielded February 17, 2021 using a national sample randomly drawn from a consumer panel of 1,000 adults, ages 18 and over. Quotas were used to match Census targets for age, gender, and region to make the survey representative of the U. S. population.