Americans are more ready to travel than ever before in this pandemic-era, according to results of recent surveys. There is also a feeling of increased confidence in travel’s safety, and even business travel is beginning to recover. Most people surveyed are even supportive of tourism in their own communities and are welcoming to visitors.
Even though coronavirus cases are rising in nearly half of the U.S., anxiety related to COVID grew only mildly. This could be because two-thirds of American travelers say they have, or plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Half of those surveyed believe that the pandemic situation will improve in the next month. Americans’ confidence in their ability to travel safely has resulted in 72% saying they are in a ready-to-travel mindset.
Being ready to travel means more people are dreaming of, planning, booking—and actually traveling. Three-quarters of American travelers did some travel planning, with 16.4% actually making a reservation or booking. Half made a hotel reservation, nearly a fifth reserved a vacation home/Airbnb and a third bought airline tickets. Over 75% of American travelers will take at least one trip in the next 3 months, and a record 88% have at least tentative travel plans for the future. More than half are open to inspiration for a trip they might not have previously considered.
American travelers are showing a receptiveness to travel messaging in a variety of channels. Different aged travelers need to be reached in different ways. Social media is most common for younger travelers, who are open to travel messaging on a variety of platforms, while older travelers remain largely committed to Facebook. TikTok has a growing influence on younger travelers, and search engine marketing is reaching more older travelers. Both demographics are reached equally through email and online articles/blogs as well as lifestyle magazines.
Another statistic showing support of travel: a record 50.4% said they would feel happy if they saw an ad promoting where they live as a place for tourists to come visit. But, 39.5% said they aren’t ready for tourists in their community just yet.
Will road trips sustain their current level of popularity? Two-thirds of American travelers road tripped during the pandemic, taking 2.5 of these trips on average. Over 62% of these road trippers agreed that this travel reminded them of how much fun road trips can be and made the idea of future travel by car more appealing. Interestingly, this sentiment was even stronger among younger travelers.
Business travel has resumed, up 8 percentage points from last month. Fewer business travelers report that the pandemic will change the way their employer does business travel (47% down from 50% in March). Fewer business travelers now believe that their business trips will be replaced by virtual meetings.
All of the above is really good news!