Update 10/15/21: Ohio's Travel Industry and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
U.S. WILL LIFT TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS WITH CANADA AND MEXICO
The Biden administration announced it will lift travel restrictions at the land borders with Canada and Mexico for vaccinated individuals in November. Our friends at U.S. Travel have long urged a reopening of the U.S. borders. The administration has indicated the reopening timeline will align with its previous decision to lift air travel restrictions for additional vaccinated international travelers in “early November.
FALL AND WINTER TRAVEL OUTLOOK MIXED
Key findings from Longwoods International fielded Sept. 29, 2021
- A third of travelers expect to take even fewer trips than they did during the coronavirus-dominated 2020 fall and holiday season, while another quarter will take more fall and holiday leisure trips than last year.
- Four out of ten said that they would take the same number of leisure trips as in 2020.
- Intent to travel still remains high, as nine out of ten travelers indicate plans to travel during the next six months.
- However, about half of travelers report they have changed upcoming travel plans because of COVID-19, including driving versus flying (32%) and domestically versus international travel (29%).
- Thirty-nine percent report watching television shows online streaming platforms more than seven times per week, while 31% say they watch on these platforms 3-7 times per week.
- These shows influence travel destinations choices for some, with 29% saying they’d like to visit a destination because of something they’ve viewed on a streaming platform, but they aren’t sure when. Another 20% say they’re planning to visit a destination in the next few years, and 12% said they’ve already traveled to that destination.
FINANCIAL STRESS FELT AMONG TRAVELERS, A LOOK AT WHICH ACTIVITIES TRAVELERS FEEL ARE SAFE
Key findings from Destination Analysts fielded Sept. 29-Oct. 1
- Travel marketability continues to slowly improve from the drop it took at the height of the Delta variant. Intent to travel has stabilized at a point lower than where it was this summer. This could be due to a combination of seasonal demand plus concerns about the pandemic.
- Americans are feeling financially stressed, however, with 34% saying it’s a good time to spend on travel, down from 41% just two weeks ago.
- Confidence in being able to stay safe while traveling is at an average of 42%, with the following representing those activities where travelers feel the safest, all tracking higher than the 42% average:
- Taking a road trip (69%)
- Visiting friends and relatives (65%)
- Non-team outdoor activities, such as biking and hiking (60%)
- Going shopping (58%)
- Staying in a hotel (56%)
- Dining in a restaurant (54%)
- Visiting an amusement park, zoo, garden, park or other outdoor venue (48%)
- Visiting a museum, aquarium, or other indoor attraction (46%)
- More than 30% of American travelers and nearly 57% of those who travel internationally say the reopening of the US Border to vaccinated international visitors is generating excitement.
- Nearly 19% of American travelers say there are places in the US where they don’t feel welcomed as visitors – 51% of these travelers say political differences as the reason.
ATTRACTION MEMBERSHIPS DOWN, BUT INTENT TO RENEW UPON VISITING IS AT HIGH LEVEL
Key findings from IMPACTS Experience released 10/13/2021
- Museums, zoos, theatres and other attractions dependent on membership subscribers are experiencing renewal rates at about 25% less compared to 2019, according to IMPACTS Experience research.
- Even more than before the pandemic (60% in Q3 2021 versus 44% in 2019), non-renewing members intend to renew when they next visit. Being able to have free admission is still a top benefit of membership. Early in the pandemic, the choice of whether to visit (and therefore renew) was taken away from many by mandated closures and restrictions. As organizations open up more reliably, the ability to gain free admission is once again on the table. Also perhaps causing the increase in intent to renew at their next visit is confidence in being able to visit safely soon given pending child vaccinations and booster shots.
- Members and subscribers tend to be older and educated than general admission visitors. Educational attainment correlates with the belief in coronavirus safety protocols. These folks are impacted by – and are a group that has largely changed behaviors because of – the coronavirus.
- The authors caution that discounting membership can have negative long-term consequences, and that the top reasons why members aren’t renewing isn’t due to internal or programmatic features, but the external realities of the pandemic.
- Of those planning to renew during their next visit, 24% are planning to visit in the next six months, 42% are planning to visit six months to a year from now, and 34% intend to visit more than a year from now.
Travel Research Round-Up
This week's latest trends and traveler sentiments in a one-page research summary.