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Optimism Is Up as Vaccinations Continue
Now 73.4% of American travelers have or will get vaccinated against COVID-19. Of those who have been inoculated, 87.3% are more comfortable with the idea of traveling. Overall, nearly two-thirds of American travelers believe the pandemic situation will improve in the U.S. in the next month; only 8.6% anticipate it will worsen. Americans are feeling safer and more confident about travel than ever during the pandemic.
Americans Continue to Actively Dream and Plan
In the last week, 77.5% dreamt and/or planned traveled, up nearly 5 percentage points. One-third report that they researched travel ideas online. Nearly 77% of American travelers say they are in a ready-to-travel mindset.
Americans are Booking + Going
In the last week, 18.7% of American travelers made a travel booking and/or reservation, primarily hotels (56.9% of travel bookers) and airline tickets (43.5% of travel bookers, up from 32.5% last week). Americans report they will take an average of 2.3 leisure trips over the next 3 months.
Memorial Day Travel Looks Strong, Despite Being Impacted by Gas Instability
Although 24.5% agree that recent gas price increases and shortages have led them to change or cancel Memorial Day travel, right now, nearly a quarter (22.6%) of American travelers say they will take a trip for the holiday this year. The average Memorial Day trip will last 3.5 days and take the traveler 534 miles from home. Over 27% say they are getting on a plane. So far, the typical Memorial Day traveler has spent 5.8 hours planning their trip.
The Travel Experience is Not Yet Near Normal
Considerable work remains to be done in order for American travel to return to normal. When asked to evaluate their most recent trip, travelers rated their experiences in restaurants and lodging establishment as being furthest from normal. Among other experiences examined in our research, inflight and airport experiences were considered the closest to normal. When asked to evaluate their customer service experiences on their most recent trip, the most problematic area was service in restaurants. 24.1% said they had restaurant experiences that diminished enjoyment of their trip. Hotels, motels and inns performed much better, with only 7.8% of travelers saying they had encountered such customer service problems. Over 40% of travelers agreed that, due to the pandemic, businesses in the travel industry appeared to be having trouble providing adequate service to travelers.
Source: Destination Analysts: Update on American Travel Trends & Sentiment – Week of May 24th