Significant progress in the race to find a COVID-19 vaccine could prod American travelers to book their next trip, according to Allianz Partners’ latest survey of its U.S. travel insurance customers.
The travel insurance and assistance provider surveyed 3,500 of its customers in order to gauge travelers’ intent in booking trips more than 100 miles from their home (for at least two nights) and to track changing travel sentiment since a similar survey was conducted in the spring.
The majority of customers (58 percent; up six points from the spring survey), who were surveyed shortly before the news broke last month about a promising vaccine, responded that a proven vaccine would make them feel safe again to travel, with customers over the age of 65 placing more importance on the vaccine than customers under the age of 45. Health officials announcing it is safe to travel was second on the list (48 percent; up three points), and the previously top safety measure, advanced sanitization efforts at hotels, airports, etc. (47 percent; down five points), came in at third overall (although it was the most important factor among customers under the age of 45).
Almost one-third of the customers surveyed (32 percent; up two points) are still not certain when they’ll next travel. Allianz also found 9 percent of customers over the age of 65 will be traveling this fall, compared to 18 percent of customers under the age of 45.
Additionally, the survey found that most Americans plan to fly (70 percent; up 5 points) for their next trip, while travelers opting to drive to their destination have taken a back seat, (19 percent; down 9 points).Whether the drop in road trip travel is tied to winter weather and driving conditions or the potential COVID-19 vaccines, Allianz notes the result is a positive sign for the airline industry, which faced a difficult year of decreased demand and the task of rebuilding customer trust through advanced safety measures.
Source: Allianz Partners