It appears as though despite anxieties surrounding travel and the ongoing global pandemic, people are still looking ahead and booking trips to take place in 2020.
According to a survey conducted by a global travel agency network community, Travel Leaders Network, of 2,700 frequent travellers, half of the participants have either already booked travel or are starting to make plans to do so. In contrast, the latter half is content in waiting for future adventures.
The survey was conducted in “mid to late May” and issued among clients of select Travel Leaders Network agencies across the United States.
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“Traveling somewhere this year is on the agenda for many travel enthusiasts,” President of Travel Leaders Network, Roger Block, said in a press release. “These findings align with reports from our travel advisors who are seeing calls and bookings on the rise.”
When inquired as to when they anticipate taking their next trip, 18% of participants said this summer, 24% said the fall, while 8% anticipate travelling during the winter holiday season.
A total of 43% explained they would opt for travel next year, with 8% saying they would wait until 2022.
As well, when asked how they plan to travel to their various destinations, 45% responded that they would fly, 25% are opting for driving, and 18% stated they would cruise.
In terms of preferred domestic destinations, according to the survey, less populated outdoor areas were among the most popular. “Anywhere uncrowded” seemed to be the highest priority, with usually popular locations such as New York and Las Vegas seeing lower interest.
Regarding international trips, destinations in Europe came out as the most popular, with 38% of those surveyed anticipating a visit across the pond. The Caribbean followed closely behind with 34%, and Mexico came in at 15%.
“Despite enthusiastic plans to travel, respondents did acknowledge concerns they had about [the] increased risk of transmission while travelling, as well as being quarantined,” Block continued.
Travellers are also hungry for informational resources surrounding travel planning, with a vast majority — nearly 60% — of survey participants wishing to receive promotions and information surrounding how various venues within the industry are easing the minds of guests. One key point of interest is in terms of refunds and cancellation policies for airlines, accommodation, cruise lines, and tour operators.
According to the survey data, “financial incentives and flexible refund policies” were influential determining factors for those surveyed, with 57% of participants seeking advice and information regarding health and safety.
As well, travel advising subsidiaries of Travel Leaders disclosed that, regarding recent bookings from their clients, their “savvier travellers” were excited to return to travelling sooner rather than later. They also were not worried about coronavirus, as they can “protect themselves as easily on vacation as they can shopping from home.”
According to travel advisors, their clients have conveyed more concern surrounding a potential second wave that may prompt cancellations of their summer or fall plans. Others also communicated anxieties regarding whether their employers would require them to enter a mandatory 14-day quarantine period once they returned if they do choose to travel.
Of course, choosing whether or not to travel is up to the discretion of the individual, and as destinations around the world continue to ease coronavirus-related restrictions and government lockdowns, opportunities for travel will continue to increase.
Note: As border closures and travel restrictions begin to lift, health authorities are reminding individuals to monitor themselves for any signs of COVID-19. If you are feeling unwell, it is recommended you stay at home. If you do decide to travel, follow the health and safety precautions and protocols outlined by the departure and arrival locations you will be travelling to/from.