A Q2 Tourism Update
Some welcome good news for the tourism & hospitality industries: A growing portion of the U.S. population is feeling more confident about traveling again. This surge is, in large part, fueled by 56+ million Americans having now been vaccinated, more economic optimism, distribution of stimulus funds and CDC travel advisory updates. All areas of the economy are reporting higher optimism levels and small businesses say the availability of the coronavirus vaccine has made them feel more encouraged about the future of their business. For travelers eager to get back to their favorite destinations, or explore new ones, the CDC statement that the fully vaccinated need not get tested before or after travel, lessens the barriers for people to get out and about, which will boost tourism and its many supporting industries. This news, along with real pent-up consumer desire, has set the stage for a strong summer travel season and beyond as more and more markets open their borders and doors to guests.
A Vacation Boom Looms on the Horizon
The pent-up demand for travel is quite significant, and a recent survey conducted by morningconsult.com revealed that 63% of adults are excited about taking a vacation once the pandemic is further under control and the economy fully reopened. Millennials reported being the most excited about returning to normal activities. One point to note, however, is that while the excitement to take a trip is in the air, getting up in a plane is something consumers are more wary about. In the same survey, only 29% of respondents reported feeling safe to fly right now, with 33% excited to take a road trip. These shifting travel trends are the varying effects of the ongoing pandemic and are driving how consumers are planning travel in 2021 and beyond. Airbnb’s recent travel survey listed these as some of the top destinations in the US to see a boom this summer: Southern Maine, Cape May, NJ, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina. While Travel Pulse named these destinations in their top 10 summer hotspots. In Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, Big Island, and Honolulu made the list, as did Seattle Washington, Anchorage Alaska, Las Vegas, Nevada, Boston MA, and Miami, Florida.
U.S Domestic Travel: Still Going Strong
Road trips and staycations will continue to be a popular trend well into summer 2021 as the more controlled safety of car travel and the ability to socially distance outdoors makes visiting the mountains, national parks, and water resorts, prime destinations. In a recent survey by Travel Agent Central, 70% of travelers planned to take a domestic trip at least once in 2021, and 35% are planning at least three. Travelers also report being more likely to take a trip during the off-season to avoid crowded areas at theme parks and attractions. Also, their perception of “luxury” has evolved to now include the highest levels of cleanliness and hygiene, across the hospitality and tourism spectrum. Making sure they are keeping up to date with the latest safety protocols, travel restrictions and destination requirements will also be at the top of travelers’ to-do lists.
Normalcy In Sight: A Restart for Tourism
While many Americans believe that there will be another Covid-19 surge before 2021 is over, the potential impact is expected to be less, as vaccination efforts continue at a rapid pace. Most Americans just can’t wait to get out and travel again, with many citing this summer as the time they plan to take their first leisure trip since the pandemic began. If anything, travelers have spent much more time planning and dreaming of these trips and their overall perceptions of travel are different, now over a year into the pandemic. Travelers should be prepared to show proof of their vaccinations, and will most likely need this proof on hand to travel to certain destinations or enter certain venues. While we are not back yet to normal and there is still work to be done, there is renewed hope and a sense that a restart is on the horizon.
What’s your confidence level when it comes to taking a trip
Are you ready to travel?
Until next Time ~ Ayri
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