COVID-19 Travel Sentiment Study-Wave 6

Pandemic’s Negative Impact on Future U.S. Travel by Americans Persists at a High Level

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. travel industry continues to be very negative near term.  According to a Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers and the coronavirus pandemic, 82% of them are changing their travel plans for the next six months because of coronavirus, about the same percentage reported the last three weeks. When asked how these travelers will change their plans because of the pandemic, 47% said they would cancel some trips, up from 28% five weeks ago, and 47% said they will reduce travel in the next six months, up from 36% five weeks ago.  Changing trips from international to domestic and from air travel to auto travel continue to occur but were less frequent than in previous weeks.

The survey, supported by Miles Partnership, was fielded April 15, 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.

Signaling some potential improvement in future travel outlook, the percentage of American travelers planning trips in the next six months rose slightly for the second week in a row, from 65% two weeks ago to 72% at the time of this survey.   However, this is still far below the 87% planning trips five weeks ago.  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, 63% of them indicated that the coronavirus pandemic would “greatly impact” their decision to travel in the next six months, up from 35% five weeks ago.  Consumers continue to be interested in future travel as demonstrated by their interaction with travel content, with 31% reading a magazine article on travel, 28% watching an on-line travel video, 26% watching a travel TV show on demand and 22% reading a travel guidebook in the past two months.

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