MMGY Global has released the latest findings of its Travel Intentions Pulse Survey (TIPS) and Travel Safety Barometer, with data answering questions about how Americans feel about travel amid news of effective vaccines and COVID-19 cases rising sharply in the U.S. Among the 1,200 American leisure and business travelers surveyed in November for TIPS Wave XI, the most important consideration for making future travel plans is the availability of a vaccine that is proven to be clinically effective.

Impact of Vaccine News

Fifty percent of respondents would get the vaccine as soon as it’s available to them; 40 percent would wait at least a few months to see if it is effective; and 9 percent would not get the vaccine. According to MMGY, people are becoming more concerned about how family and friends will judge their decisions to travel, with 31 percent of respondents saying the opinions of family and friends are an important consideration affecting future travel plans (an increase from 25 percent in October).

Domestic and International Travel

The percentage of respondents likely to take a domestic leisure trip during the next six months remained steady month-over-month at 41 percent. There was a slight increase in respondents likely to take an international flight during the next six months, rising from 21 percent in Wave X to 25 percent in Wave XI.

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Lodging, Cruising and Transportation

Thirty-nine percent of respondents say they are likely to stay in a hotel/resort in the next six months, while 32 percent say they are likely to stay in a vacation home/rental in that time frame. These responses have changed very little since July.

The percentage of respondents likely to take a river cruise increased from 17 percent to 21 percent, surpassing their likelihood of taking an ocean cruise. Between October and November, the number of respondents likely to take an ocean cruise in the next six months remained steady at 20 percent.

The percentage of respondents likely to travel by personal car during the next six months rose to 67 percent following a two-month decline; however, this number has significantly decreased from the summer, when it peaked at 75 percent. Travel by car remains the most likely form of transportation for respondents. One in five travelers (20 percent) is willing to drive more than 500 miles (each way) for a leisure trip.

Dining and Entertainment

With ski season just starting across the nation, 23 percent of respondents said they are likely to participate in snow sports (skiing, snowboarding, etc.) in the next six months. In addition, 39 percent of respondents said they are likely to visit a bar or restaurant in the next six months.

There is little anticipation of going to an indoor or outdoor sporting event, concert or festival, with around a quarter of respondents saying it’s likely they would participate in such an event in the next six months.

The MMGY Global Travel Safety Barometer measures American travelers’ perceptions of the safety of specific travel behaviors on a scale of 0 (extremely unsafe) to 100 (extremely safe). In all seven key areas it measures (domestic travel, international travel, lodging, cruising, transportation, dining and entertainment, and business travel) barometer scores remained level or even increased slightly from the previous month. This is an interesting development considering that COVID-19 infection rates in the U.S. have escalated to their highest levels since the start of the pandemic.

Source: MMGY Global