Tracking Travellers’ Perception Of Safety

MMGY Global has launched its new Travel Safety Barometer — a sentiment tracking tool created for the travel and tourism industry — to monitor American travellers’ perceptions of how safe it is to engage in specific travel behaviours as the country embarks on its reopening and recovery efforts.

Designed by MMGY’s Travel Intelligence research and insights division, the Barometer is an informational resource for both business and leisure travellers and the industry as the coronavirus continues to fundamentally change all aspects of our society, including when, where and how we feel comfortable traveling.

It measures Americans’ perceptions of safety on a scale from 0 (extremely unsafe) to 100 (extremely safe). It’s based on a nationally representative survey of all active travellers in the country that is conducted monthly using MMGY Global’s proprietary Travel Intentions Pulse database.

Barometer metrics are published for both domestic and international travel, as well as category-specific metrics for transportation, lodging, cruising, dining and entertainment.

Chris Davidson, executive vice president of insights and strategy, MMGY Travel Intelligence, observed: “Travellers’ perceptions of safety are shaped by everything from the latest news headlines and personal experiences to social media. The Travel Safety Barometer will highlight how consumer perceptions of safety evolve as states, countries and travel-related businesses cautiously begin to reopen, allowing the industry to adjust their operational and marketing strategies accordingly to meet consumer needs.”

Currently, all data are pointing to domestic leisure travel within the U.S. recovering before business and international travel.

The latest wave of Travel Intentions Pulse data (collected May 1to May 6, 2020) used to create the baseline for the Barometer showed that respondents’ overall perceptions of domestic travel safety is still low on the scale, with international travel scoring even lower.

Highlights include:

  • Domestic travel safety scores low at 34, and international travel earns a score of just 22.
  • Driving in a personal vehicle has propelled the MMGY Global Transportation Barometer to 56.
  • Business Travel Safety and Cruise Safety Barometers’ scores are below 30, signaling a more challenging recovery for these industry segments.
  • Lodging, dining and entertainment are similarly tracking with scores in the low to mid 30s.

Said Davidson: “There is much work to be done by the industry to put in place measures to protect the public’s health and well-being. Once this is accomplished, the next challenge becomes how will destinations, hotels, airlines, cruises and other travel businesses provide peace of mind to travelers who perceive them to be unsafe.”

The Travel Safety Barometer survey is conducted monthly among 1,200 U.S. residents who have taken an overnight trip for either business or leisure in the past 12 months.

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