When will people travel again? Maybe sooner than you think

when will people travel again

A lot of us are asking “when will people travel again?” New surveys reveal that the answer may be “sooner than you think.”

People are over the pandemic and wildly optimistic about the very near future of travel, which is good news for the industry. 

This is according to different reports and surveys that have emerged recently from Tripadvisor, Travel Technology Association, and Destination Analysts. 

The findings of their survey tell us mainly that consumers are ready to travel, and some have even started booking and planning their trips for 2021. A lot of this travel will be domestic but some are setting their sights on international destinations. Here’s what the research revealed.

Destination Analysts: 77.7% are “actively dreaming about and planning travel”

First, the Destination Analysts survey of around 1,2000 people found that a record-high percentage of those are ready to travel again.

While 53.8% of American respondents said they believe there will be another COVID-19 surge, 69.3% still said they’re ready to travel. A majority (77.7%) said they’re actively dreaming about and planning travel. When are they planning for? A third have at least tentative plans for travel in July, nearly a quarter in September, and another approximately 22% in October.

Of those that have  already made travel plans, 57.5% have booked a hotel room, and 34.6% have bought airline tickets.

Americans are feeling similarly optimistic about tourism in their own communities. More than half are comfortable going out for leisure activities where they live, a record-high since the pandemic began, while the number of people who are not yet ready for tourists in their town has dropped 26% from 67.6% to 41.3%, a record pandemic-era low.

Destination analysts also asked respondents how they felt about vaccine passports and more than half said they would be comfortable, or very comfortable with the idea. A majority of Americans also said proof of COVID-19 vaccination should be required for entry into the United States from another country, boarding a cruise line, and boarding a commercial flight. 

Tripadvisor: more than half of Americans will travel this spring

Tripadvisor, meanwhile, found in a survey of more than 2,000 American consumers that respondents are increasingly confident that life will soon return to normal, and more than half even have plans to travel between now and May 31. 

Millennials are more optimistic and eager than other generations about travel, dining out, and more. The survey found that, of millennial respondents:

  • 58% are planning a trip this spring (vs. 50% of all age groups).
  • 71% feel comfortable dining out this spring (vs. 62% of all age groups).
  • 54% believe day-to-day life will return to normal within three months (vs. 38% of all age groups).
  • 56% believe they will be better off financially in the next 12 months than they are today (vs. 41% of all age groups).

The survey also found that, of the Americans who are actively planning a trip for spring on Tripadvisor, more than a third (34%) are searching for international destinations, while the other two thirds (66%) are searching for domestic destinations.

Which destinations are travelers interested in? It looks like fun in the sun by the ocean is on the most wanted list these days.

All of the fastest-growing destinations this spring (those with the biggest year-over-year increase in searches on Tripadvisor) are in Florida, Mexico, and the Caribbean. 

10 fastest-growing destinations for Americans:

  1. Isla Verde, Puerto Rico
  2. St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
  3. Playa Maroma, Mexico
  4. Tulum, Mexico
  5. Key West, Florida
  6. Key Largo, Florida
  7. Miami Beach, Florida
  8. Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands
  9. Cruz Bay, U.S. Virgin Islands
  10. Fort Myers Beach, Florida
Travel Technology Association: 76% will travel once vaccinated

Finally, 80% of more than 2,000 respondents to a poll by the Travel Technology Association said they are likely to travel this year. More highlights from that survey include:

  • 76% are likely to travel once they receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 57% are likely to attend a live event like a concert or sporting event in 2021 if open and available.
  • 74% are likely to visit an outdoor attraction, such as a theme park or a national/state park, this year.
  • 73% who plan to travel will do so in their own state
  • 87% plan on driving to their destination this year and more than 65% will drive up to 6 hours. 

It looks like people will be getting on the road soon. The future is bright. Time to get ready.

Learn about how to maintain an excellent guest experience while spa recovers. 

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