KANSAS CITY, Mo. — According to data released this week by MMGY Travel Intelligence, there are indications that increasing numbers of travellers intend to get moving once the pandemic passes. MMGY has been conducting the Traveler Intentions Pulse Survey (TIPS), commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association, since the end of March to measure the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. leisure and business travellers. 

Among the key findings, road trips and travel to destinations closer to home will likely drive much of the tourism recovery once pandemic restrictions on travel are lifted. The percentage of travellers who agreed they are more likely to travel by car after COVID-19 passes increased in the last two weeks from 35 per cent in Wave II to 47 per cent in Wave III. And, the percentage who said they’re more likely to travel to destinations close to home increased from 36 per cent in Wave II to 42 per cent in Wave III. This was especially true for older travellers.

The following are additional highlights from the latest results:

  • A slowing in the spread of COVID-19 worldwide and the CDC reducing risk-advisory levels continue to be the most important factors impacting decisions to travel in the next six months. However, there are also signs that travellers are increasingly looking for travel restrictions to be lifted to make a travel decision. The percentage of travellers who indicated an easing of travel restrictions would impact their decision to travel increased from 45 per cent in Wave II to 53 per cent in Wave III.
  • Consumers’ interest in travel may ultimately be eclipsed by lingering concerns about either safety or their ability to pay for it. Six in 10 respondents say they will be eager to travel for leisure once the COVID-19 emergency has passed, up from 54 per cent in Wave II, yet just 38 per cent say they’re likely to take a leisure trip in the next six months.
  • In Wave III, travellers were slightly less concerned about the threat of contracting COVID-19 than they were just two weeks prior. In particular, the concern about others in their household contracting the virus dropped from 40 per cent in Wave II to 34 per cent in Wave III. And, travellers aged 50 to 64 years continue to be the age group least concerned.

This survey is conducted biweekly (as of March 27, 2020) among 1,200 U.S. residents who have taken an overnight trip for either business or leisure in the past 12 months. Wave II of the survey was conducted April 4 to 11, 2020 and Wave III was conducted April 17 to 22, 2020. The full report is available at mmgyintel.com.


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