MMGY Global: Jump in Domestic Travel Safety Confidence

KANSAS CITY, MO—As we near the end of a summer where domestic road trips were the preferred way to vacation, despite COVID-19 hot spots also continuing to pop up around the country, perceptions of safety for domestic travel, transportation, lodging and even business travel are at their highest since the start of the pandemic, according to MMGY Travel Intelligence’s Travel Intentions Pulse Survey Wave VIII (TIPS) and MMGY Global’s Travel Safety Barometer.

“We’re seeing this momentum from the summer spurred on by people venturing away from home for the first time in months,” said Chris Davidson, EVP of insights and strategy, MMGY Global. “Americans are figuring out what they feel comfortable with and are starting to feel safer traveling domestically, though international travel is still perceived by most to be unsafe.”

The Domestic Travel Safety Barometer, which measures traveler sentiment on a scale of 0 (extremely unsafe) to 100 (extremely safe), experienced a 4-point jump with confidence in the safety of domestic travel increasing from a score of 45 to 49 from July to August. At the same time, the Lodging Safety Barometer reached an all-time high score of 50 as confidence in staying at hotels and resorts rose. These positive feelings are also reflected in the latest TIPS report, which found the likelihood of taking a domestic leisure trip during the next six months has increased from 38% in July to 42% in August. Furthermore, 75% of travelers said they are likely to travel by personal car during the next six months—the highest level reported since the survey began in March.

After months of stagnation, the Business Travel Safety Barometer score showed a modest increase to 38, up from 35 points in July. Similarly, the most recent TIPS survey found the likelihood of taking a domestic business trip during the next six months increased from 31% in July to 35% in August. Importantly, it also seems more people who thought business travel was going to be totally out of the picture this year now see it as a possibility. The percentage of business travelers who said they were not at all likely to take a business trip during the next six months declined significantly from 35% to 25%.

MMGY Travel Intelligence’s Travel Intentions Pulse 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. Wave VII of the survey was conducted on July 27–31, 2020, and Wave VIII was conducted August 21–31, 2020.

MMGY Global’s Travel Safety Barometer is culled monthly from the Travel Intentions Pulse Survey, providing a comprehensive picture about how safe Americans think it is to travel.