COVID-19 Travel Sentiment Study-Wave 4

Coronavirus Pandemic Continues to Weigh on Future Travel Plans by Americans

April 7, 2020- The impact of the pandemic indicates a very negative forecast for near-term travel by Americans.  According to a Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers and the coronavirus pandemic, 84% of them are changing their travel plans for the next six months because of coronavirus, the same percentage reported last week.  When asked how these travelers will change their plans because of the pandemic, 53% said they would cancel some trips, up slightly from 50% the week prior, and 43% said they will reduce travel in the next six months, up from 35% a week ago. Changing trips from international to domestic and from air travel to auto travel continue to occur but were less frequent than previous weeks.

The survey, supported by Miles Partnership, was fielded April 1, 2020 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.

The percentage of American travelers planning trips in the next six months continues to decline, from 87% three weeks ago to 65% at the time of this survey.  The coronavirus pandemic continues to be a more significant factor affecting U.S. travel in the next six months, compared with concerns about the economy and transportation costs.   

Of the travelers surveyed, 67% of them indicated that the coronavirus pandemic would “greatly impact” their decision to travel in the next six months, up from 35% three weeks ago.   Despite the negative impact of the pandemic on near-term travel, consumers continue to be interested in future travel as demonstrated by their interaction with travel content, with 30% reading a magazine article on travel, 26% watching an online travel video, 25% watching a travel TV show on demand, and 25% reading a travel guidebook in the past two months.

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