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Update on American Travel in the Period of Coronavirus—Week of September 14th

September 14, 2020/by Destination Analysts



Although the ongoing pandemic has increased travel budget consciousness, lessening concerns about the virus has more Americans planning trips and improved confidence that travel can be done safely. Meanwhile 44% of American travelers say they would take an approved COVID-19 vaccine.


Key Findings to Know:

  • Health and personal financial concerns, while still strong, remain the lowest they have been during the pandemic.

  • This lessening of fear has translated to travel. The average rating of travel activities as “unsafe” continued to fall this week to the lowest levels they have been since March 15. Over 30.0% of American travelers are confident they can travel safely in the current environment, another 24.0% feel at least somewhat confident.

  • There thus has been a measured rise in the number of American travelers who are planning travel: this week, 78.3% report they have at least tentative trip plans. The percent of those in a “ready to travel” mindset is at a pandemic-period high.

  • There remains opportunity for the travel industry to work together to improve safety perceptions around travel: Among those who traveled by commercial airline this past summer, 52.8% report feeling unsafe against COVID-19 at some point(s) during their flight. Such feelings were not as widespread while at lodging properties, but still 27.7% report feeling unsafe against the virus sometime during their stay.

  • The pandemic did appear to mute the economic impact potential of the travel that occurred this past summer. Over 56% said they decreased their spending on these trips to some degree, and 42.3% said they were more budget conscious.

  • One-in-five of American travelers report taking a staycation this summer. While over 60 percent said the staycation was mainly staying at home, two-thirds report doing at least one activity, such as day trips to area attractions and going to restaurants.

  • When it comes to a COVID-19 vaccine, 44.1% of American travelers said they would take it, although for the majority, some waiting period is preferred. Those who are currently less ready to travel are more willing to take the vaccine.

Pessimism still outweighs optimism about the pandemic’s course in America, but has stabilized over the last three weeks. Health concerns, while strong, remain the lowest they have been during the pandemic. And while we can’t shake our highly elevated fears of the virus’ impact on the national economy, concerns about the virus’ impact on personal finances are their lowest level since the pandemic began. This lessening of fear has translated to travel. The average rating of travel activities as “unsafe” continued to fall this week to the lowest levels they have been since March 15. Over 30.0% of American travelers are confident they can travel safely in the current environment, another 24.0% feel at least somewhat confident.


MPORTANT: These findings are brought to you from our independent research, which is not sponsored, conducted or influenced by any advertising or marketing agency. Every week since March 15th, Destination Analysts has surveyed 1,200+ American travelers about their thoughts, feelings, perceptions and behaviors surrounding travel in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and explored a variety of topics. The findings presented below represent data collected September 11th-13th.



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