Delta Variant Setting Off Alarm Bells for Travel Industry
According to the latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers, the rapid spread of the delta variant of COVID-19 is changing travelers’ attitudes and travel planning. About a third of travelers have postponed travel specifically because of the delta variant, up from a quarter of travelers two weeks ago. The percentage of travelers who say that coronavirus will greatly impact their travel decisions in the next six months jumped from 21% a month ago to 34% in the latest survey.
“News of rising numbers infection, hospitalizations and deaths clearly is changing the perception of trip safety for some travelers,” said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. “And reports of so-called “breakthrough infections” among the vaccinated and increasing coronavirus cases among children may also be weighing on travel and travel planning.”
Support among travelers for opening up their local communities to visitors has plunged from 67% two months ago to 47% in the latest survey. And the percentage of travelers who feel safe eating in local restaurants and shopping at local retailers has also declined, from 74% in late June to 60% in early August.
The survey, supported by Miles Partnership, was fielded August 4, 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.