Despite Some States Starting to Reopen, Americans Not Ready to Travel Yet
The question for the U.S. travel industry may now be, if you open it, will they come? According to a Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers and the coronavirus pandemic, 82% of them have changed their travel plans for the next six months because of coronavirus, virtually unchanged for the past month. When asked how these travelers will change their plans because of the pandemic, 50% said they would cancel some trips and 45% said they will reduce travel in the next six months. These have also remained steady over the past month.
“We’ve clearly reached an inflection point in traveler sentiment surrounding the COVID-19 crisis,” observes Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. “All of those who can be impacted have been, and those who have been impacted will continue to be so until the country begins to open up on a wide-scale manner.”
The survey, supported by Miles Partnership, was fielded April 22, 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 was 69%, far below the 87% planning trips six 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.
In the only bright spot in this week’s results, the percentage of those surveyed who indicated that the coronavirus pandemic would “greatly impact” their decision to travel in the next six months has trended slightly downward in the past four weeks, from 67% to 61%, though still far above the 35% on March 11th. Federal health officials are viewed as the most important information source about the pandemic, followed at some distance by federal and state elected officials and state health authorities.