Update 11/05/21: Ohio's Travel Industry and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
AMERICAN TRAVELERS CONTINUE TO REGAIN NORMALCY LOST TO THE DELTA VARIANT; NEAR-TERM OUTLOOK FOR TRAVEL IS POSITIVE; BUSINESS AND CONVENTION/GROUP MEETINGS IS REBOUNDING
Key findings from Destination Analysts fielded Oct. 27 - 29, 2021
- Many Americans are looking at lifestyle changes, primarily centered on transforming their relationships with themselves, their family and work. Although change is less likely for Baby Boomer-aged travelers, one-third of those Millennial-age say they intend to change their lifestyle going forward (with another 20% uncertain if they will).
- The relationship with travel will also change—more trips, using travel as a means to deeply connect with their friends and family, traveling more sustainably and with a greater environmental consciousness, and a greater focus on outdoor activities. And while nearly half of those that intend to change the way they travel going forward say they will travel more internationally, 48.5% say that the pandemic did open their mind to domestic travel opportunities. In addition, over 60% of Millennial age and younger travelers say they are interested in trying a digital nomad lifestyle.
- Americans continue to regain normalcy lost to the Delta-variant surge. This week saw another 3 percentage point gain in those feeling that the U.S is largely normal for leisure activities (31.3%). Now 38.5% feel that the COVID situation will improve in the U.S. over the next month.
- The majority feel confident in their ability to travel safely and sentiment towards tourism in their own communities has improved (39.6% don’t want tourists in town, down from 48.6% at the end of August).
- The proportion of recent travelers who say that travel businesses were having trouble providing adequate service has declined over 5 percentage points in the last two weeks to 41.0%. Nevertheless, two-thirds of American travelers feel COVID will be with us for the long-term and thus it continues to impact travel.
- More than 38% still feel that COVID-19 has impacted their ability to have meaningful travel experiences (up from 34.4% two weeks ago) and 20.7% of recent travelers reported high levels of COVID anxiety on their last trip.
- The near-term outlook for travel is positive. This week, 83.8% of American travelers currently have trip plans, with 53.0% traveling at least once in the next three months. More than 7-in-10 American travelers did some travel dreaming and planning in the past week alone. Nearly 70% have high degrees of excitement about a potential getaway they had not previously considered (a good predictor of upcoming hotel performance).
- Business and convention/group meetings travel is rebounding. When asked about the overnight trips American travelers expect to take in the next 3 months, 15.5% reported business travel (up from 11.8% October 1st) and 12.1% reported convention, conference or group meetings (up from 8.8%).
- Similarly, day trips for these types of travel are also up with 15.3% reporting a day trip for business (up from 10.7%) and 11.4% for convention, conference or group meetings (up from 8.5%).
- Despite the strong desire for travel, Americans are more conscious about their spending. Right now, 52.5% say they will prioritize travel in their budgets—down from 59.8% just two weeks ago. Those that feel that it is a good time to spend on travel has declined from 45.1% to 38.9%. Three-in-five American travelers feel that travel prices are too high right now and 42.7% say that these high prices have kept them from traveling in the past month.
- Travel advertising has a significant opportunity to be more inclusionary. Just 36.1% say they see people they identify with commonly featured in travel advertising and only 38.1% feel travel advertising is designed with people like them in mind. In fact, 15.0% feel that they have recently seen a travel ad that felt exclusionary and 19.4% saw an ad that felt inauthentic.
AMERICAN TRAVELERS PLAN TO CATIOUSLY SPEND TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
Key findings from Longwoods International released Nov. 2, 2021
- 70% of American travelers this holiday season plan to visit friends and relatives, showing the great desire to reconnect as we move through the course of this pandemic.
- 40% of travelers who plan to visit family this holiday season intend to do so without any COVID precautions, while 35% indicate they will take some precautions, and another 32% say they will limit the size of their family gatherings this year.
- 45% of American travelers indicate other plans to travel before the end of this year (within the next 60 days), which shows a growing desire to travel this season now that the Delta variant appears to be subsiding.
- As we close out the year and look into early 2022, the desire to travel has reached a tracking survey high of 91% of American travelers saying they have plans to travel within the next six months.
- Almost one in three American travelers (30%) now say that COVID-19 is not influencing their travel plans, which is also a survey high.
Travel Research Round-Up
This week's latest trends and traveler sentiments in a one-page research summary.