Survey: 73% of U.S. travelers eager to travel next year

U.S. travelers are eager to travel as COVID-19 restrictions ease, according to a recent traveler sentiment survey commissioned by technology company Amadeus. It found that 73% of U.S. travelers are eager to travel and hope to do so in the next year.

Censuswide surveyed 1,000 respondents from Sept. 2-14 in an effort to understand traveler sentiment to safe travel in light of COVID-19 as restrictions begin to ease in some areas around the world.

Appetite for travel in the next year is high but clear guidelines are necessary

  • 73% of U.S. travelers hope to travel in the next year, with 48% expecting to travel for business to a destination requiring a flight later this year
  • North America is the top destination for both business and leisure travelers (39% and 53% respectively) with almost a quarter (24%) expecting to take two trips in the next year
  • Just over a third (34%) of travelers agree that the current international restrictions and guidelines on travel are confusing and unclear, making them less likely to book travel. Almost a third (32%) of business travelers report that they will not be doing any international travel due to unclear restrictions and guidelines, compared to just under a quarter (24%) of leisure travelers

Travelers are willing to share health data to get traveling again

  • More than nine in 10 (91%) U.S. travelers would be willing to provide personal information and health data for the effective use of digital health passports
  • U.S. travelers are most comfortable providing digital health data for international travel (58%) compared to domestic travel (47%)
  • 44% of U.S. business travelers would be willing to share their digital health data to visit an office or business event/conference
  • 37% of leisure travelers would be willing to share their digital health data for an excursion or activity at destination

Concerns remain around traveling in light of COVID-19

  • The biggest concern for U.S. travelers is the risk of catching COVID-19 while traveling (43%), followed by changing restrictions resulting in last minute cancellations (36%) and changing restrictions without a refund on bookings already made (35%). Only 6% of respondents don’t have any concerns about traveling in light of COVID-19
  • Different kinds of travelers are concerned about different things—people who travel for business are less likely to be more concerned about increased queues while traveling due to additional document checks (29% vs. 19% of leisure travelers), but less concerned changing restrictions resulting in last-minute cancellations (32% vs. 40%)

Technologies that would increase confidence in travel

  • Self-service check-in (43%), mobile applications that provide on-trip notifications and alerts (39%) and automated and flexible cancellation policies (39%) are the most popular technologies that U.S. respondents noted would increase their confidence to travel in the next 12 months
  • Leisure travelers were more likely to prefer automated and flexible cancellation policies (46% vs. 31% for business travelers) and self-service check-in (49% for leisure vs. 38% for business travelers)
  • A third (33%) of business travelers would like to see facial recognition technology to increase their confidence to travel

Sustainability is important

  • 39% of U.S. travelers believe greater availability or accessibility to green modes of transport, e.g. electric planes or trains, would help the travel industry to become more sustainable long term
  • Making sustainable travel more cost-competitive (38%) and transparency around travel
    companies’ sustainability policies (38%) are also top ways to help the industry
  • Opportunities for travelers to be involved in the preservation of tourist destinations is a stronger option for business travelers to help the industry (42% vs. 31% for leisure)
  • When it comes to different generations, making sustainable travel more cost-competitive is a more appealing option, Gen X and baby boomers (46%) compared to Gen Z and millennials (33%).