Industry Update
Press Release 1 May 2020

Survey Shows Travelers Are Warming Up to the Idea of Hitting the Road Again

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KANSAS CITY, MO - The U.S. Travel Association has partnered with MMGY Travel Intelligence to conduct a biweekly study of U.S. business and leisure travelers. This survey measures current and future traveler sentiment amid the COVID-19 pandemic and will track trends and shifts in travel intentions. The study will poll respondents for both domestic and international travel intent by purpose and type.

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Among the key findings, road trips and travel to destinations closer to home will likely drive much of the tourism recovery once pandemic restrictions on travel are lifted. The percentage of travelers who agreed that they are more likely to travel by car after COVID-19 passes increased in the last two week from 35 percent in Wave II to 47 percent in Wave III. And, the percentage who said they are more likely to travel to destinations close to home increased from 36 percent in Wave II to 42 percent in Wave III. This was especially true for older travelers.

The following are additional highlights from the latest results.

  • A slowing in the spread of COVID-19 worldwide and the CDC reducing risk advisory levels continue to be the most important factors impacting decisions to travel in the next six months. However, there are also signs that travelers are increasingly looking for travel restrictions to be lifted to make a travel decision.The percentage of travelers who indicated an easing of travel restrictions would impact their decision to travel increased from 45 percent in Wave II to 53 percent in Wave III.

  • Consumers' interest in travel may ultimately be eclipsed by lingering concerns about either safety or their ability to pay for it. Six in ten respondents say they will be eager to travel for leisure once the COVID-19 emergency has passed, up from 54 percent in Wave II. Yet, just 38 percent say they are likely to take a leisure trip in the next six months.

  • In Wave III, travelers were slightly less concerned about the threat of contracting COVID-19 than they were just two weeks prior. In particular, the concern about others in their household contracting the virus dropped from 40% in Wave II to 34% in Wave III. And, travelers aged 50-64 years continue to be the age group least concerned.

This survey is conducted biweekly (as of March 27, 2020) among 1,200 U.S. residents who have taken an overnight trip for either business or leisure in the past 12 months. Wave II of the survey was conducted April 4-11, 2020 and Wave III was conducted April 17-22, 2020. For the full report, visit https://www.mmgyintel.com/travel-intentions-pulse-survey-tips-impact-covid-19.

About MMGY Travel Intelligence

MMGY Travel Intelligence is MMGY Global's industry research and insights brand, offering proprietary data and research including DK Shifflet, the Portrait of American Travelers® and travelhorizonsTM designed to power travel industry decision-makers through consumer insights, travel performance data, and audience modeling and segmentation. To learn more about the extensive collection of research, analytics and strategy services, visit mmgyintel.com or email us at [email protected].

About The U.S. Travel Association (USTA)

The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.1 trillion in economic output and supports 15 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.

About MMGY Global

With more than 38 years of experience, MMGY Global is the world's leading integrated global marketing firm specializing in the travel, hospitality and entertainment industries. With eight operating brands across the world, the award-winning organization maintains a global communications practice in all marketing channels, serving many of the world's premier travel and tourism brands. As a company dedicated to the global travel industry, MMGY Global strives to create a connected, inclusive and peaceful world by promoting travel as a cultural bridge of understanding. For more information, visit https://www.mmgyglobal.com/.

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