Industry Update
External Article 6 May 2020

When will we start traveling again? Here’s what experts are saying

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In April 2019, more than 2 million travelers passed through U.S. airports every day.


A year later, the coronavirus pandemic all but shut down air travel, as people sheltered in their homes, scared that recycled air and close quarters will make airplanes a breeding ground for Covid-19 infections. Air travel has dropped by more than 95%, with some days seeing fewer than 100,000 air travelers across the country.

Is this the beginning of a permanent decline in air travel? Or will things return to normal?

While the experts acknowledge they don't have a crystal ball, they all agreed that it would take around 18 to 24 months before there's a significant spike in demand and the industry begins to return to regular levels. In the meantime, the travel industry will undergo some very big changes: Airports may institute new kinds of security checks to screen travelers who are sick, nervous tourists will vacation closer to home, and the travel experience will be dominated by large chains as small hotels and restaurants struggle or go out of business.

A survey published last weekfrom Longwoods International, a market research firm focused on the travel industry, found that 82 percent of Americans have already changed their travel plans for the next six months because of the coronavirus. Fifty percent said they would cancel trips, and 45 percent expect to reduce travel in that time frame, according to the survey of 1,000 American adults.

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