Increasing Consumer Optimism Could Signal Travel Industry’s Imminent Recovery

The latest survey from Longwoods International shows that about 84% of travelers have made travel plans for the next six months – the highest level since the pandemic began a year ago.

This is the third consecutive wave of the survey in which this key parameter is above 80%. The percentage of travelers who said COVID-19 would have a significant impact on their decision to travel in the next six months fell to 35%, the same low level as during the pandemic in the first half of March 2020. This new figure is down from 41% two weeks ago and much lower than the peak of 66% recorded in April during the pandemic.

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Current trend

Travel planning continues to accelerate as better data on the pandemic and vaccines are released, said Amir Aylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. If the number of infections does not increase further, the tourism sector will begin to recover in 2021.

While our collective optimism about the future is growing, security concerns seem to remain. Only 44% of travelers would currently support opening up their community to outside visitors, and 50% say they feel safe outside their community. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed said they felt safe eating at local restaurants or shopping at stores in their community.

As the world struggles to contain the pandemic, 61% of respondents said they continue to change their travel plans because of COVID-19.

With vaccination becoming increasingly preferred, 36% of respondents said they will delay travel until they receive the vaccine, and 20% will wait until their friends and family members are also vaccinated. Nineteen percent want to wait until the majority of the population is vaccinated; 20% want to wait until the majority of Americans are vaccinated; and 19% are willing to wait until the majority of people in their target country are vaccinated. Interestingly, 32% of respondents said the COVID-19 vaccine had no impact on their travel plans.

Student Wave 32 COVID-19 Pathways Feeling was launched on February 17, 2021 among a randomly selected national sample of 1,000 adults aged 18 and older. To make the survey as representative as possible of the entire U.S. population, selection quotas were applied according to Census specifications by age, sex, and region. This issue of the journal marks the one-year anniversary of ongoing research at Longwood.

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