There is understandable anxiety surrounding future travel plans and COVID-19.
According to a survey conducted by personal finance website, ValuePenguin, nearly half of Americans (48%) have opted to cancel their summer travel plans, placing even greater distress on the already ailing travel industry.
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The site conducted the survey online between April 3 and 6 of 1,201 Americans, “with the sample base proportioned to represent the overall population.”
The data shows that roughly 16% (one in six) of Americans are expecting to wait a year or more before travelling again.
Additionally, 46% of those who had impending summer travel plans lost out on more than just their holiday experience. Many also lost money on nonrefundable deposits and cancellation fees, with an average cost of $854.30 (CAD $1,202) per person.
A majority of these losses were from airline tickets (59%) and hotel accommodation (44%).
Those who booked through Airbnb were a bit luckier, with only 22% of people losing money on their reservations.
However, those surveyed incurred other financial losses as well, including tours and excursions (25%) and cruise deposits (21%), and other travel-related expenses (11%).
The survey also discusses how the pandemic has impacted consumers’ overall impression of travel.
The rapid rate at which the virus spread around the world is understandably concerning, and travel of all forms, be it air or sea, domestic or international, definitely played a role in facilitating further infection, albeit unintentionally.
According to the data, due to the various impacts of coronavirus, 43% of Americans have a negative perception of the travel industry as a whole, many of whom stated that they would alter their behaviour as a result.
For example, 55% of participants revealed that they were less likely to embark on a cruise trip following the conclusion of the pandemic, and 52% stated that they are fearful of travelling overseas.
However, all is not doom and gloom.
According to the survey, one in four Americans is planning on booking a celebratory trip once the threat of coronavirus is gone and things return to normal, particularly millennials (34%), Gen Xers (32%), parents with children under the age of 18 (42%), and those who earn six figures (41%).
As well, in what may be one of the more positive spins of the results of the pandemic, 40% of consumers reported that they are more likely to purchase travel insurance in the future.
Even though travel is still discouraged, it is essential to remind ourselves that this challenging time will pass. While we all do our parts to remain at home and practice proper social and physical distancing, we must also stay positive and look to when we will be able to travel and explore the world again.