Travelers overwhelmingly want mandatory COVID-19 (coronavirus) protections and services—and they are willing to pay for it, according to a Global Rescue survey of its current and former members. To note, the survey found more than 60 percent of travelers are willing to pay from $50 to $100 or more for screening and testing services to minimize the effects of COVID-19 and—in the event of an infection—mitigation and remediation provisions for isolation accommodations, quarantine facilities and ground or air transport.
Travelers agreed almost unanimously (94 percent) that they would feel safer if they had services and protections that cover pre- and on-trip COVID-19 testing, required quarantines, evacuation costs in the event of exposure or infection, and door-to-door travel insurance. Nearly the same number (91 percent) are adamant in their support for mandating all travelers obtain the same COVID-19 protections for their personal safety, the safety of others, and to prevent adverse selection.
Nearly nine in 10 (88 percent) also want governments or organizations to step in and create systematic programs calculated to beat COVID-19. Although, Global Rescue notes, not every government or organization has the resources or the expertise to provide screening, testing, triage, quarantine facilities, ground and air transport, data collection and case management.
Travelers envision making domestic trips sooner than international excursions. The survey found 60 percent of respondents said they would make a domestic trip before the end of the year, 13 percent said they would travel internationally by then. However, 86 percent of respondents indicated they would travel internationally in 2021. When it comes to returning to international travel, two-thirds (68 percent) said it would take governments lifting travel restrictions and their preferred destinations would have to reopen their borders. Half said a COVID-19 vaccine would have to be available.
The survey also found that travelers lost out a wide range of personal and professional opportunities due to the pandemic:
- 64 percent gave up a bucket list/adventure trip
- 53 percent missed out on a family vacation
- 32 percent relinquished a business trip
- 28 percent surrendered a couples’ getaway
- 21 percent skipped an anniversary, wedding, honeymoon or birthday trip
- 10 percent lost an ecotourism or humanitarian excursion
- 9 percent missed out on a wellness trip
With that said, travelers do expect to make up for the travel they missed out on in a number of ways. According to the survey, when travelers (who could choose all options that apply) think about their future travel plans between now and the end of 2021:
- 52 percent expect to travel internationally where possible
- 35 percent plan to go to more remote, less crowded destinations
- 22 percent look forward to taking more time or a longer trip
- 20 percent think they’ll take advantage of discounts, deals and specials
- 18 percent count on taking an extra trip
- 13 percent look forward to traveling only to places with modern health care facilities
One third (32 percent) anticipate taking fewer trips, one-fifth (22 percent) said they’ll only travel domestically, and 5 percent said they would take a less expensive trip.