As warmer months arrive, many in the travel industry are hopeful that travelers make good on planning and embarking on future trips. A recent Longwoods International COVID-19 U.S. Traveler Sentiment Survey indicates they may be doing just that.
As of early April, the study indicated that 88% of American travelers now have travel plans in the next six months, which is the highest level seen in more than a year. More than half of the study's respondents indicated they agree or strongly agree that they feel safe traveling outside of their own communities.
However, the study also indicates that safety remains top of mind for most travelers.
"It's obvious from the data that Americans are ready to travel again, but only if they believe they can do safely," said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. "With many states reducing or removing coronavirus safety mandates, tourism businesses will need to figure out what level of safety precautions their customers expect or demand."
As spring quickly makes way for the summer months, vaccine efforts have become more widespread and more American travelers are becoming fully vaccinated. Still, the study found vaccines remain a major factor impacting travel decisions.
According to the study, 34% of people indicated they will wait until they are vaccinated to travel again, while 20% said they will wait until a majority of Americans are vaccinated to travel again. Nearly four in ten Americans said that the vaccine will not impact their travel plans at all. Despite this, the study found that more than half of Americans (57%) are unlikely to visit a destination without clear health and safety protocols in place.
When it comes to preferred modes of transport for trips within the next six months, 32% of travelers said they were choosing destinations they can drive to as opposed to fly; 31% said they're choosing to travel within the U.S. instead of internationally; and 24% said COVID-19 isn't influencing their travel plans at all.
To view the newest study in its entirety, click here.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.