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According to the latest findings from a travel-sentiment tracking study being conducted by Longwoods International-a tourism-focused market research consultancy-progressively fewer American consumers are saying that the pandemic will impact their upcoming travel plans.
Now, in the study's thirteenth week, only 69 percent of U.S. travelers queried said that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing them to alter their travel plans-down from a peak of 85 percent that gave the same response during the April 8 survey and the lowest level seen since mid-March 2020.
The percentage of travelers who said that the pandemic has "greatly impacted" their getaway plans for the next six months has also continued its downward trajectory, falling from its peak of 67 percent on April 1 to 46 percent in the latest survey, bringing it to the lowest level seen since March 11, 2020.
"Americans are clearly more ready to travel than they have been in months," said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. "And they are becoming more confident about welcoming visitors to their communities as well."
Seventy percent of respondents indicated that they have travel planned within the coming six-month period, a ratio that has remained fairly constant since the Longwoods study began in mid-March, although down from its peak of 87 percent, reported on March 11, just before the full impact of the pandemic became widely apparent.
Other factors that respondents cited as affecting their travel decisions over the next six months included concerns about the current economy, with nineteen percent saying that this would greatly impact their planning and another 23 percent admitting that it would have a sizeable impact. Another element would be the actual costs of transportation to reach one's destination, with fourteen percent of those surveyed pointing to this as a factor that would greatly impact their choices and a further nineteen percent saying it would likely have a large impact.
Forty-six percent of respondents now support opening up their communities to visitors, an increase of fifteen percent from the results of the May 13 survey. And, 44 percent said that they feel safe venturing outside of their own communities, rising nine points from the percentage seen four weeks ago. Longwoods also discovered that restaurant dining, shopping and outdoor activities are topping travelers' wish lists of experiences for Summer 2020.
Close to half of those polled (44 percent) said they would feel safe dining in local restaurants and shopping at retail outlets in their own communities, as compared to the 31 percent who responded similarly in the May 13 survey.
Insights firm Miles Partnership supported this Longwoods survey, which was fielded on June 3, 2020, using a randomly-drawn national sample of 1,000 U.S. adult consumers, ages eighteen or over. Quotas for age, gender and region were applied to match with Census targets, rendering the survey representative of the U.S. population as a whole.
Laurie Baratti is a San Diego-based journalist whose work has previously appeared in publications like TravelAge West, SPACE,...
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