U.S. Travel Market Update
Consumer Sentiment and Research
According to the latest travel sentiment data from Destinations Analysts, Americans are ready to move on from the pandemic. U.S. travelers are the most open to travel that they have been since before the pandemic, with 69.4% of travelers saying they are open to travel inspiration and 73.7% expressing excitement to travel in the near term. American travelers saying they are not ready to travel are at a record low at 15.7%.
Relaxation, scenic beauty, and new experiences are what Americans most want to get out of their travels in the upcoming year. According to Longwoods International travel sentiment study released on June 15, 87% of American travelers have plans to take trips within the next six months.
Many Americans have changed their priorities, including how they chose to work and spend their time. According to the Destination Analysts study, nearly three-in-ten Americans expect to change their lifestyles post-pandemic. Most report that they will prioritize finding a healthier work/life balance, spending more time with family and friends and being more mindful of their self-care. In addition, nearly a quarter of American travelers plan to make changes to the way they travel, by traveling more, focusing on outdoor experiences and being more mindful of travel sustainability.
Vaccination Rates and Federal Updates
Other indicators are pointing in the right direction as well, with the average vaccination rates for the country over 50% and several States lifting all remaining COVID19 related restrictions. Some parts of the U.S. domestic market are already seeing a strong rebound with southwest Florida reporting they are headed for a record-breaking year, as travelers seek sun and beaches for their holidays. Hawaii tourism is seeing a surge in visitors surpassing pre-pandemic levels and Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park had a record-breaking May with 483,000 recreation visits.
On the federal level, we are seeing an uptick in airport traffic with the Transportation Safety Administration reporting on Sunday, June 13 a record-high level of screenings since the start of the pandemic. The CDC has eased travel recommendations for more than 100 countries and there are efforts to work on opening travel between Canada, Mexico, UK and the E.U.
Predictions on Travel Recovery and Industry Updates
While all of this is good news for the travel industry, there are still many challenges to work through, including bringing international travel back and resuming business travel. Predictions on travel recovery made by NYC & Co. forecast recovery of domestic leisure travel to reach 2019 levels by 2022, while business travel and international visitation is expected to lag with a full recovery predicted by 2025.
As pent-up demand for travel in the leisure segment is driving early recovery, the industry is experiencing a workforce shortage. Many attractions and restaurants have shortened their hours to accommodate for the lack of staff. While our industry is experiencing this shortage, Americans are still expecting excellent service, with 84% saying they expect the travel and tourism industry to provide as good or even better service than they did prior to the pandemic, according to the Longwoods International travel sentiment study.
Destinations Analysts Coronavirus Travel Sentiment Index Findings week of June 14, 2021
Longwoods International COVID19 and Travel Sentiment Study Wave 39
NYC & Co Annual Report 2021