Survey Reveals the Impact of Natural Disasters on Travel Plans

Results are bright for winter vacation destinations that recently suffered from wildfires and hurricanes By: Mindy Poder
Natural disasters may not deter clients from traveling. // © 2018 Getty Images
Natural disasters may not deter clients from traveling. // © 2018 Getty Images

The Details

Eric Mower + Associates

A recent survey by Eric Mower + Associates, an advertising and marketing agency, reveals that two-thirds of Americans who take an annual winter vacation in an impacted destination — such as Texas, the Caribbean, Florida and California — plan to return this winter. Forty percent say they will help pitch in with recovery efforts in some way.

Why It Matters:
Following natural disasters, some in the travel industry lose faith in selling destinations that recently suffered. But once these places are deemed safe by officials — and as soon as local tourism representatives ask for visitors — travel advisors should not shy away from discussing these destinations to clients. Who knows? You may strike a chord with a client who likes to help, or who has a soft spot for that destination. 

Fast Facts:
- The majority of those surveyed cited Florida as their winter vacation destination of choice (35 percent), followed by California (9 percent), the Caribbean (7 percent) and Texas (6 percent).

- Forty percent will help pitch in by bringing extra food, clothing or medical supplies to donate, while 21 percent will volunteer while in the destination.

- Sixty-four percent of Florida vacationers plan to travel there this winter.

- Many respondents believe the impacted destinations will come back better than before (32 percent) or rebuild to their previous level (32 percent).

- Twenty-nine percent of respondents are unsure whether they will return, while 32 percent plan to visit a nonimpacted destination.

- Those visiting impacted destinations are expecting fewer crowds (35 percent), to see damage (28 percent) and to have limited access to restaurants and shops (20 percent).

- Eighteen percent of travelers say they will purchase travel insurance more often, on top of the 14 percent who already do.

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