More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, things seem to be turning a corner. According to research by Deloitte, consumers are reporting their lowest anxiety levels since April 2020 and safety perceptions have improved considerably (although they do feel a lot of their pandemic-period habits are going to remain).
As for travel, signs of optimism are emerging, with vaccinated consumers indicating higher intent to travel and stay in hotels over the next three months. In the U.S., vaccinated consumers surveyed are 35 percent more likely to plan a flight than those who aren’t vaccinated.
On the other hand, although leisure travel booking intent continues to improve across all categories, one in three consumers surveyed say they are waiting to take a vacation until after the pandemic. This falls in line with other findings from the survey: Across the world, Deloitte says, despite consumers feeling less anxious, some behaviors are not likely to return to pre-pandemic patterns any time soon. Instead, many consumers plan to avoid congregating with strangers and continue to consume at home.
In the near-term, pent-up demand for travel indicated a temporary uptick, with 29 percent of consumers surveyed feeling safe to fly, and 37 percent of respondents feeling safe staying in a hotel. Globally, however, surveyed consumers’ net expectations are to fly and stay in hotels less post-pandemic than they did pre-pandemic.
Regarding leisure activities, just 23 percent of respondents feel safe attending an in-person event and 43 percent say they will go to these events less often even after the pandemic; but 15 percent say they are committed to going even more. Globally, 55 percent of consumers surveyed plan to continue cooking more at home than pre-pandemic (only 5 percent say less). Additionally, 38 percent of respondents plan on ordering more take-out or delivery than pre-COVID, rather than eat in-person at a restaurant (15 percent plan to do this more than pre-pandemic, while 40 percent of respondents plan to eat at restaurants less frequently).
The most recent iteration of Deloitte’s “Global State of the Consumer Tracker” was conducted in 18 countries during the week of February 25 to March 3 and queried at least 1,000 consumers in each country.