Stats: Travelers Intend to Push Off Travel for Several More Months

MMGY Travel Intelligence has released results from the second wave of the Travel Intentions Pulse Survey (TIPS). This research, commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association, measures the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. leisure and business travelers. One notable finding: 90 percent of travelers surveyed had some type of travel or travel-related activity planned prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and 80 percent of those either canceled or postponed those plans. While six in 10 leisure travelers have canceled a planned vacation as a result of COVID-19, one in three travelers has postponed vacation plans in hopes of rescheduling later in the year.

Additionally, as the pandemic continues, travel intent during the upcoming six months continues to decline, with intent to travel for leisure vacations falling to 31 percent (from 39 percent) and intent to travel for business down to 21 percent (from 26 percent). Americans’ willingness to travel both domestically and internationally remains dependent on the slowing of the spread of COVID-19 and the reduction of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisories. 

The potential impact of attractive travel deals to help stimulate bookings fell nine percentage points from Wave I to Wave II, suggesting that concerns about safety take precedence over attractive prices. With that said, more than half of respondents (52 percent) stated they would be eager to travel for leisure once the COVID-19 pandemic passes. Early indications reveal that younger adults will be the first to travel again as evidenced by their intent to engage in almost every type of travel-related activity during the next six months. Also of note: While overall personal concern for contracting COVID-19 has increased marginally from 32 percent in Wave 1 to 34 percent in Wave II, the level of personal concern among young people (ages 18-34) has increased from 56 percent to 63 percent.

Following the pandemic, just under half (46 percent) are likely to travel by plane, while one in three respondents (36 percent) is likely to take a vacation closer to home. Only 21 percent and 18 percent, respectively, said they would take an ocean cruise or a river cruise.

This survey is conducted biweekly, beginning March 27, 2020, among 1,200 U.S. residents who have taken an overnight trip for either business or leisure in the past 12 months. Wave II of the survey was conducted April 4–11, 2020.


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