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Are Travelers Looking Beyond the Pandemic?

Just as the surge of COVID-19 cases begins to wane in many parts of the country, the number of travelers planning future trips—including international adventures—is rising, that's according to promising new research.

The latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers shares a variety of exciting information indicating that travelers are ready to hit the road now more than ever, with the percentage of those delaying travel because of COVID-19 dropping from 32% in early January 2022 down to 24% only a month later.

"Barring some new setbacks, the much-awaited shift in mindset among American travelers from 'pandemic' to 'endemic' travel finally may be underway," said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. "Hopefully the interest in resuming international trips by American travelers also means that the U.S. will be hosting growing numbers of international visitors from around the world."

Travelers with international leisure plans over the next two years clocks in at 52%, with Europe leading the pack for the most popular destination. Top choices also include the Caribbean Islands, Mexico and Canada.

But what about the spending habits of these travelers? Have things changed, or have they mostly stayed the same? For the most part (32%), research indicates the allotted budgets of those currently planning ahead have stayed the same compared to the two years prior to the pandemic (2018/2019). In contrast, 19% of those surveyed said they're looking to spend slightly more funds on international travel, while 11% reported spending significantly more. Of those scaling back, 13% clocked in for both slightly less and significantly less travel spending.

When looking at the near future, travelers for the most part are more optimistic on COVID-19's hold on influencing travel plans. Specifically examining travel plans for late spring and summer, 28% of those surveyed believe COVID-19 will have a lesser impact on travel than in the past, while 35% believe it will remain the same. That's not to say everyone feels the same—21% still believe COVID-19 will have a greater impact on travel as we make our way into the warmer months of 2022.

Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for Groups Today.


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