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WhatMarket research company Longwoods International, in collaboration with marketing and advertising firm Miles Partnership, has released wave No. 4 of its tracking study of American travelers and the coronavirus pandemic. According to the latest report, 84% of respondents are changing their travel plans for the next six months because of the coronavirus.
Why It MattersThough 84% certainly paints a grim picture for near-term travel, the same percentage was reported last week in the tracking study’s wave No. 5 — a plateau that indicates some relief for the travel industry. (The previous week-over-week increases were considerably more dramatic, jumping from 58% to 75%, before hitting 84%).
Of those 84% respondents, 53% canceled their trip completely, while 43% reduced travel plans, 22% switched to a drive-to destination (instead of having to fly) and 13% changed their trip from international to domestic. As such, travel advisors who specialize in international destinations may want to consider highlighting experiences within the U.S. — particularly those within driving distance — in addition to reaching out to clients with such options.
Despite the caution around upcoming trips, overall interest in travel is still apparent, as well. The survey shows that consumers are continuing to show interest in future travel based on interaction with travel content, including 30% who have read a magazine article on travel and 26% who have watched an online travel video.
Fast Facts- The survey was fielded on April 1, 2020, using a national sample drawn from a consumer panel of 1,000 adults (ages 18 or over).
- Additionally, quotas were used to match Census targets for age, gender and region in order to ensure that the survey is representative of the U. S. population.
- The coronavirus pandemic remains the highest factor impacting decisions to travel in the next six months (67%), compared to concerns about the economy and transportation costs.
- In addition to magazine articles on travel (30%) and short online travel videos (25%), other travel content viewed or interacted within the last two months include travel shows (25%); travel books/guidebooks (25%); videos from a travel expert, personality or “vlogger” (17%); live-streaming online videos of a real-time travel or local experience (15%); online 3D or 360-degree virtual tours (15%); travel podcast, audio or radio shows (12%); longer online travel videos (11%); and virtual tours using a virtual reality headset (7%).
The DetailsLongwoods Internationalwww.longwoods-intl.com
Read more from TravelAge West about the COVID-19 outbreak.