According to the latest monthly Traveler Confidence Index developed by Travel Again, COVID-19 variants — such as the Delta variant — are having a dramatic impact on traveller confidence, even more-so on business travellers than leisure travellers.
On the leisure side, the report found that 61% of travellers feel at least somewhat less confident about travelling due to the prevalence of COVID variants with 1 in 20 saying the variants cause them to have no confidence in travelling.
For business travellers, 65% feel at least somewhat less confident about travelling due to the prevalence of COVID variants and the number who say the COVID variants cause them to have no confidence in traveling jumps to nearly 1 in 10.
Travel Again co-founder, Mike McCormick said that: “Since the launch of Travel Again last fall, we’ve talked about the importance of putting infrastructure in place to protect travellers and the travel industry not just as we recover from COVID-19, but in a way that ensures we are ready for the future health threats that will someday come as well.”
McCormick added: “As new variants keep coming at us, we are already seeing this play out — and if we don’t act now to address the damage it is causing to traveller confidence, it will cause irreparable damage for future travel projections.”
The July survey also revealed that business travellers are getting vaccinated at a significantly higher rate.
Currently, 87% of business travellers have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and only 7% report that they do not plan to get the vaccination. Conversely, only 62% of leisure travellers have received at least one dose of the vaccine while 17% say they have no plans of getting vaccinated.
Other findings include:
- Business travellers who have made future reservations dropped slightly this month from 33% to 28% while leisure travellers with future bookings remained the same at 56%.
- The most important confidence building elements for business travellers include vaccinations for travel providers, vaccinations for yourself and mandatory masks. On the leisure side, there was frequent cleaning, empty middle seats, mandatory masks and vaccinations for yourself.
As for the Traveler Confidence Index, it dropped across the board following a steady recovery over the last year.
On the leisure side, it fell from 3.77 in June to 3.55 in July, its lowest level since April. The number of leisure travellers fully ready to travel now dropped by more than 10% from 37.3% to 26.5%.
The business Index dropped from 3.66 last month to 3.48 today with the number expressing they are fully ready to travel now falling from 33.6% to 27.4%.
Go to www.travelagainproject.org for more.