With warmer weather comes more positive traveler sentiment, that's according to a recent Longwoods International tracking study of American Travelers.
The study found that only 30% of American travelers say that COVID-19 will greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months—the lowest percentage level since March 2020. Out of those surveyed, only 16% don't have any trips currently planned. In addition, 6/10 travelers said they now feel safe traveling outside their communities, the highest level in a year.
This information is encouraging, as tour operators and travel advisors are seeing an uptick in groups planning trips again, whether for the summer or further into 2021 and beyond. Ultimately, pent-up demand has been there from the start, but is now finally starting to play out in a more widespread way.
When it comes to travelers who are waiting to get vaccinated before traveling again, that percentage has declined from 37% to 27% over a six-week period.
"The negative impact of COVID-19 on travel planning is waning," said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. "And the percentage of those planning trips in the next 60 to 90 days is increasing, encouraging news for summer tourism."
As for method of travel, 31% of travelers still say they're choosing destinations they can drive to, as opposed to flying. International travel is still getting poised for its comeback however, with only 29% of travelers indicating they're planning to travel within the U.S. rather than internationally.
Additional signs of light around the country have also started to show, as the CDC announced fully vaccinated individuals could stop wearing masks in most (but not all) settings. The guidance still calls for mask wearing where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
"Get vaccinated—or wear a mask until you do," President Biden said during a Rose Garden address on May 13.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.