Destination Analysis Inc. President & CEO, Erin Francis-Cummings gives an insightful presentation about data on tourism and travel trends in the United States. It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has had a major impact on travel plans across the country. Nevertheless with a vaccine in progress, Americans are slowly feeling more confident to begin traveling again.  

When Travelers were asked to describe in ‘one word’ how they felt about traveling during the pandemic, this is how they responded. In the first month they felt scared, in May they felt cautious, and now they feel cautious but excited.

Cummings shares some promising statistics that bring optimism for the travel industry. 52.2% of Americans have excitement and openness to travel and 78% have travel plans for the upcoming year. “There’s a lessening of fear and it has transmitted to travel,” said Cummings. 

Looking back at findings from the summer, July and August were the peak travel months which mostly included college graduates and partners. Additionally, when traveling Americans were more reliant on hotels for safety information. 32% of these travelers stayed at 3-4 star hotels and 82.7% rated “satisfied” to “very satisfied” about their stays at hotels during a pandemic. In terms of operational practices wanted by guests, included well-explained cleaning procedures, hand sanitizers, and available face masks & wipes. 

Due to current conditions, travelers had a decrease in their typical vacation spending. This was not due to restaurants or attractions being closed, but because travelers are purposely being more budget conscious. In addition, Cummings adds that offering discounts would cause a motivation in Americans to begin traveling. 

When asked if a vaccine would change the attitude of traveling for Americans, 44.1% said yes and 47.5% said they would need to wait 3-12 months before getting the vaccine. In a Travel Sentiment Index used by Destination Analysis, it has found that those in rural areas, air travelers, cruise travelers and women are most marketable at the moment. 

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