Update 06/04/21: Ohio's Travel Industry and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
View the latest trends and traveler sentiments in this one-page research summary.
Travel Research Updates
BUSINESS TRAVELERS READY TO TRAVEL IN 2021, BUSINESS TRAVEL IMPORTANT TO GENERATING SALES FOR THEIR COMPANIES
Key findings from SAP (R) Concur (R) fielded worldwide April 15 to May 10, 2021:
- Among business travelers, 92% are motivated to travel for business in 2021. Top reasons include making personal connections with customers and colleagues (54%), experiencing new places (52%), and taking a break from their everyday lives (41%).
- Four in five business travelers worry that unless they increase business travel this year, their personal (80%) and professional lives (80%) will suffer.
- Respondents are most concerned about developing and maintaining business connections (45%), making less money (38%), and not advancing in their careers (33%). One in five are worried they could lose their jobs if they are unable to increase their business travel.
- Those surveyed said that if business travel does not increase, it will be more difficult for their company to build new relationships (38%), and it would result in fewer new deals signed (37%) and fewer contract renewals with existing clients (34%).
- Heavy workloads and unused vacation days also mean workers want to make the most of any upcoming business travel — 89% percent say they will add personal vacation time to their business trips in the next 12 months.
- Almost a third say they would ask to limit travel if their company does not implement policies or measures to help protect their health and safety, while 20% said they’d look for a different position if safety protocols aren’t in place.
- Flexibility, such as choosing preferred transportation, lodging and travel dates, is now the most pressing need for business travelers). In contrast, in 2020, ensuring personal health and safety while traveling was the most important consideration for business travelers.
AMERICAN TRAVELERS PLANNING TO HIT THE ROAD, EXPRESSING MORE CONFIDENCE
Key findings from Longwoods International fielded May 26, 2021
- American travelers with plans to travel in the next six months continues to rise (now at 90%) - 22% have a trip planned within the next month and 25% have one planned in one to two months.
- While 30% of U.S. travelers are saying COVID is not impacting their travel plans, 31% of U.S. travelers are choosing to drive instead of flying to their destination, 23% say they’re reducing the number of trips, and 30% are choosing to travel domestically instead of internationally.
- Just over one-quarter (26%) of travelers indicate that coronavirus will greatly impact their travel plans, showing a steady decline in this number for more than a month.
- Only 46% of travelers plan to change upcoming travel plans due to COVID-19, down 10 points from one month ago.
- Since mid-April, the percent of Americans waiting to travel until they receive the vaccine declined by 10 points, reaching a low of 23% this wave. 17% plan to wait until the majority of Americans are vaccinated while 15% will wait until their friends and family are vaccinated to travel. 44% indicated that the COVID-19 vaccine has no impact on their travel plans.
- As Americans continue to become more confident in their perceptions of travel and safety, 67% feel safe traveling outside of their own community, up seven points from two weeks ago. 61% are in support of welcoming visitors back to their communities and 66% indicate they feel safe dining in local restaurants and shopping in retail stores.
- Less than half of U.S. travelers indicated COVID-19 would have some impact on travel decisions in the next six months, and one-quarter (26%) indicated that COVID-19 will greatly impact their travel plans. 23% of travelers said concerns about their personal financial position would greatly impact their travel plans while 21% said the same in regards to transportation costs.
CONFIDENCE GROWS WEEKLY, BUT SAFETY PROTOCOLS STILL EXPECTED (ESPECIALLY AMONG YOUNGER TRAVELERS)
Key findings from Destination Analysts fielded May 26-28, 2021
- Confidence to travel safely continues to improve. At 26%, those who believe travel and leisure activities are unsafe is less than half of what it was at the start of the year.
- Avoidance of convention related travel again reaches a record low (45%).
- Those who booked a sporting event ticket doubled in the last week from 8% to 16%.
- Approximately 77% of American travelers report that they are taking leisure trips in the next 3 months. These travelers will take an average of 2.1 overnight trips this summer. Average leisure trip spending during this period is anticipated to be $1,691.
- Visitation to cities continues to return, with 42% reporting they will visit an urban destination during their summer travels, up from 38% last week.
- More than 70% of American travelers, however, still want to see destinations enforcing at least one pandemic safety protocol, such as masks (38%), social distancing (36%), and capacity limits (34%). They will be researching whether their intended destinations have these in place.
- The expectations for safety protocols are based on age and hometown. More than 80% of millennial and GenZ travelers want some COVID mitigations in place, while Boomers are split – 60% want them and 40% say none are needed. Read last week's update on why this may be a result of unvaccinated children in their households.
- Outdoor versus indoors activities is still a factor. This week, 71% of American travelers describe their mindset around large outdoor events as ready. When it comes to large indoor events however, readiness is at 58%. Even though there’s growing readiness to attend large events, 80% desire pandemic protocols in place at these functions, including attendance limitations and social distancing.
- Those seeking urban destinations are less interested in relaxation and more interested in great food experiences.
- Those looking for entertainment and parties may head to beaches, theme parks and mountains, while those seeking new places and things are likely to choose rural areas and small towns.
- Those seeking adventure and exploration are more likely choosing parks and mountains. Interestingly enough, those choosing to visit a national park are seeking beauty over relaxation.
- Those comfortable enjoying leisure activities in their home community is at a pandemic-high (67%).