Update 10/22/21: Ohio's Travel Industry and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
NORMALCY CONTINUES TO RETURN AS DELTA VARIANT WANES; ENTHUSIAM FOR TRAVEL IS REBOUNDING IN TIME FOR HOLIDAY SEASON; AMERICAN WORKERS EAGER TO RESUME IN-PERSON MEETINGS
Key findings from Destination Analysts fielded Oct. 13 - 15, 2021
- Normalcy continues to return, as the impact of the Delta variant wanes. In terms of resuming leisure activities, fully 28% of Americans feel that the U.S. has a significant degree of normalcy, up from 24.7% the week of October 4th.
- Enthusiasm for travel is rebounding, just in time for the Holiday season. Strong feelings of excitement for travel are up to 75.7% from 64.4% the week of October 4th. In addition, researching travel ideas and making travel bookings have both increased in the past week, fueled by improving expectations for the coronavirus situation (39.1% now feel things will get better in the next month, up from 26.9% just two weeks ago).
- While not recovered to 2019 levels– when 52.8% of American travelers embarked on holiday-related trips—44.9% currently report having at least tentative plans to hit the road this season. This represents a nearly 17 percentage point gain from 2020 (fear of COVID and not wanting to risk the health and safety of loved ones remain the top deterrents to Holiday travel).
- Leisure and business travel expectations for the remainder of the year have increased. Compared to two weeks ago, more Americans are planning overnight trips in the next 3 months—both for leisure (57.7%, up from 49.3%) and business (14.7%, up from 11.8%). December appears to be the peak month for overnight trips in the remainder of 2021 (32.4%). Leisure (47.2%) and business (12.4%) day trip expectations for the next 3 months have also increased.
- American workers are eager to take a break from the screen and get back to in-person meetings. Amongst employed American travelers, 44.3% said they regularly use web conferences to conduct business. Of these regular web-conference users 68.7% say they have felt the effects of “Zoom fatigue” and 62.8% agree that they are tired of web conferencing and are eager to get back to the in-person meeting experience.
- Vaccination support continues to grow. This week, 77.4% of American travelers report being vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccinated American travelers are feeling more confident in the safety provided by their vaccine (62.1% up from 52.3%). In addition, Americans are showing increased support for vaccine requirements on airlines and “no fly” lists for problematic passengers. Right now, 66.5% agree that airline passengers should be fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID-19 test (up from 60.3% two weeks ago). Meanwhile, 66.3% of American travelers support a national “no fly” list to protect airline employees and 49.8% say that establishing a national “no fly” list would make them more interested in traveling. Meanwhile, 56.9% say they would support an indoor vaccine mandate in their own community.
AS DELTA VARIANT RECEDES, TRAVELER CONFIDENCE IMPROVES
Key findings from Longwoods International fielded Oct. 19, 2021
- More than one in four (27%) of American travelers now say that COVID-19 will greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months (a decrease of nine points in the past six weeks).
- 48% of American travelers are changing their plans due to the pandemic (down five points in two weeks).
- 58% now support welcoming visitors back into their communities.
- 67% now feel safe travelling outside their communities.
- 70% now feel safe shopping and dining locally which is up 12 points in the past two weeks.
- When asked about hesitations that are preventing them from traveling: 31% of American travelers report that it is fear of COVID-19; 27% point to uncertainty about their financial situation; while 22% say they have no hesitations about traveling.
- Two-thirds of American travelers are fully or partially vaccinated. However, they are evenly split about holiday travel. Half of these travelers surveyed have no hesitations about traveling this holiday season, while the other half does.
- Meanwhile, a third of travelers aren’t vaccinated. Among them, two-thirds have no hesitancy about holiday travel, while a third do have hesitancies.
- Over the past eighteen months, there has been a solid growth in travelers indicating they consume and interact with travel content via online and streaming sources.
Travel Research Round-Up
This week's latest trends and traveler sentiments in a one-page research summary.