Moving In The Right Direction

According to the latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travellers, only 12% of them said that coronavirus would greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months — the lowest level since the pandemic first appeared three years ago.

Concerns about travellers’ personal financial situation greatly influencing their travel plans was cited by nearly twice as many respondents, at 23%, but that was down 7% from a month earlier.

“Traveller attitudes toward the pandemic and their personal finances are both moving in the right direction, which is very positive for the travel industry,” said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International.

He continued: “And encouraging news about a possible “soft landing” for the economy in the fight against inflation is likely driving this improved traveller outlook.”

Even with a better assessment of their personal finances, travellers continue to keep an eye on inflation, with about half saying that inflation will impact their travel decisions in the next six months.

Travellers are coping with inflation by reducing spending across the board, on retail, entertainment and travel.

Key findings of the tracking study include:

  • The recent good news about a ‘softer landing’ for the economy has clearly improved travel sentiment, as noted by a six point drop in those who agree or strongly agree that inflation will impact their decision to travel in the next six months (down from 58% to 52% in just one month, although that is still just over half of American travellers).
  • This good news coincides with a survey-high of 93% of American travellers indicating plans to go somewhere in the next six months.
  • Travellers continue to see work-life balance as important and a need to set boundaries during “bleisure” trips, despite a 5 point drop since last summer in those who strongly agree they are less likely to work during their next leisure trip and those likely to include leisure activities on business trips.
  • A significant milestone in the pandemic’s impact on travel has finally been reached with over half of American travellers finally saying the pandemic no longer influences their travel plans (55%).  This is an 8-point increase in just one month and also coincides with the Biden Administration’s announcement that they will sunset the national emergency in May. However, the study notes that 24% of travellers still say COVID-19 will impact or greatly impact their decision to travel in the next six months, and 27% of American travellers are still altering their travel plans in some way as a result.  Bottom Line:  We are closer to the finish line with the pandemic’s impact on upcoming travel, but one out of four travellers cannot be ignored.

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