Omicron Uncertainty Weighs On Holiday Plans

The emergence of the Omicron variant – coupled with the rise in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths across the U.S. – has some travellers rethinking their holiday travel planning according to the latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travellers.

Longwoods reports that while more than a third of travellers are still planning to hit the road in December, about a quarter are delaying trips until after the first of the year.

The tracking study also found that among those who are still travelling over the holidays, two-thirds intend to visit friends and relatives, while six in ten will go shopping and almost half are looking forward to seeing holiday lights.

Amir Eylon, president and CEO of Longwoods International, said of the most recent findings that: “Concerns about the spread of both the Delta and Omicron variants is setting off alarm bells for the travel industry. Some travellers are hesitant regarding trip planning as they wait for updated information on the state of the pandemic and the effectiveness of vaccines, boosters, and treatments for new strains like Omicron.”

Working remotely and other changes in work patterns also are impacting the travel industry.

Three in ten American travellers intend to work at least one week remotely away from home in the next 12 to 24 months.

The percentage of American travellers who intended to move long term or permanently to a new home and work remotely has remained steady since May, at less than 1 in 10 travellers.

Breaking down the key findings reveals:

  • 27% or one quarter of American travellers report postponing some of their trips right now due to Omicron variant.
  • A 5% spike in those American travellers reporting COVID would greatly impact their travels.
  • Financial concerns have inched up 5% in two months.
  • Those changing travel plans due to the pandemic are up 5% in two months.
  • On the bright side, only 10%  of American travellers say they are cancelling trips.
  • 68% of Holiday Season travellers plan to visit friends and relatives, while 60% plan to go shopping.
  • 35% of American travellers have remote work plans within the next 12-24 months. In May 2021 (Wave 38), this figure was 29%.

The survey, supported by Miles Partnership, was fielded Dec. 8, 2021 using a national sample randomly drawn from a consumer panel of 1,000 adults, ages 18 and over.

Quotas were used to match Census targets for age, gender, and region to make the survey representative of the U. S. population.

Go to for more.