Updates 9/17/21: Ohio's Travel Industry and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
FACE COVERINGS, ABILITY TO BE OUTDOORS, SEEING OTHERS VISIT AND PROOF OF VACCINATION IDENTIFIED AS IMPORTANT BY THOSE LIKELY TO VISIT MUSEUMS, THEATERS, ETC.
Key findings from Impacts Research fielded Sept. 9, 2021
The findings are shown for exhibit-based organizations (museums, zoos, aquariums, botanic gardens, historic sites, etc.) as well as performance-based organizations (symphonies, theaters, ballets, etc.)
- Mandatory face coverings, ability to be outdoors, seeing others visit and requiring proof of vaccination are among the top things that will make people feel safer visiting exhibit-based and performance-based attractions right now.
- Mandatory face coverings were identified by 72% of those likely to attend performance-based venues, while 67% said so for exhibit-based venues.
- Ability to be outdoors is important to 68% of those likely to visit performance-based attractions, with 59% saying the same for exhibit-based.
- Seeing others visit was also important to performance-based visits (42%) versus exhibit based (49%)
- More than 56% of visitors to performance-based organizations said proof of vaccination will make them feel safer, compared to 48% of those likely to visit exhibit-based organizations.
- Those survey respondents coming from households with children younger than 13 years of age feel stronger about proof of vaccination – 59% versus 44%.
- The author emphasizes that this research is conducted with potential visitors, not just recent visitors. Those who don’t feel safe visiting are not taking your onsite surveys, as they are staying home.
- Those saying that no significant changes are needed, and that they feel safe and comfortable were reported for both those likely to visit performance-based attractions (29%) and exhibit-based attractions (34%)
HOLIDAY SEASON SHOWING POSITIVE INDICATORS, BUSINESS AIR TRAVEL BEING PLANNED WITHIN NEXT 9-10 MONTHS, BOOKING WINDOW CONTINUES TO BE SHORT, THOUGHTS ON VACCINE PASSPORTS
- Of the 30% of respondents who haven’t booked flights yet, 40% are waiting for vaccination rates and regulations to improve and 30% are waiting for vaccine passports to be required.
- 62% of business travelers report their companies are planning air travel in the next 9-10 months, while 38% said their companies either have no plans (20%) or haven’t specified plans (18%). (Survey was conducted July and August and report indicated intention to travel within12 months).
- The 2021 holiday travel season projects to be a lot stronger than 2020. Of the 38% of travelers surveyed who say they fly for the holidays, only 40% of this group did so in 2020. Those who intend to fly this year has more than doubled (85%). Thanksgiving week tells a similar story, currently with 47% more domestic seats booked than last year.
- Booking on short notice (between two weeks to a month in advance) is still the norm, with nearly half of air travelers reporting this booking activity. Another half are booking two to six+ months out.
- Sixty-eight percent of all survey respondents said they are interested in or want domestic vaccine passports, and 70% believe vaccine passports should be required for international travel. Of those who said they weren’t yet vaccinated, 56% said they still wouldn’t get vaccinated even if the airline, airport, or destination required it to travel.
- Similar to a study we released last week, Millennials and Generation Z are more likely than others to travel domestically in the next six months (84% vs. 79%). They are also less likely to adjust their travel plans and behavior in light of the virus (66% vs. 70%), and are also slightly less concerned that they will catch coronavirus while traveling (with 56% rating their fear level at 5 or below and only 28% saying it’s an 8 or higher).
- Seventy-six percent think that requiring all passengers and staff to wear masks is the most effective safety measure for both airlines and airports, followed by improved cleaning procedures. OAG predicts that direct flights and domestic travel will become even more popular and says “Airlines and tourism companies can potentially boost passenger levels by focusing their efforts around these trends.”
- What do flight passengers want to see in place to increase confidence? Requiring all passengers and staff to wear masks tops the list. In order, the following also were identified in order: distributing individual disinfectant wipes for personal areas, leaving middle seats open on all flights, requiring testing and implementing contactless checking-ins.
- Overall, more than three-quarters of consumers said they were planning to fly domestically in the next six months, compared to 69% who are planning to fly internationally.
Federal Public Safety Measures Proposed
Late last week, President Biden announced several measures to protect public safety that will likely impact some in our industry. Details on most of these are being ironed out and will be released soon.
- A forthcoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule requiring all employers with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccinations or weekly testing. It is likely that fines will be levied per employee for non-compliance. Employers will also be required to provide paid time off for workers to get vaccinated.
- A call for large venues to require proof of vaccination or negative test results from patrons. At this time, it is unclear if the administration will require or simply encourage large venues to comply with this policy.
- Extended TSA mask mandate in airports, airplanes and public transportation through January 18th, 2022 and doubled fines for those who are not in compliance.
- Mask and physical distancing requirements on federal land, in federal buildings and on military bases will remain in place.
Travel Research Round-Up
This week's latest trends and traveler sentiments in a one-page research summary.