Survey: U.S. drive-to travel trend continues in ’21

The Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) has released new polling data from a survey of more than 2,000 individuals in the U.S. on travel preferences in 2021. The data reveals travelers value a wide array of travel options that facilitate easy planning and booking and prioritize safety as travel is expected to boom this year.

The reports key findings for travel this year:

  • 80% of respondents said they are likely to travel
  • 76% of consumers are likely to travel once they receive the vaccine
  • 57% of consumers are likely to attend a live event like a concert or sporting event if open and available
  • 74% of consumers are likely to visit an outdoor attraction, such as a theme park or a national/state park
  • 62% of travelers plan on using an online travel agency or metasearch platform to search and book travel

Enthusiasm for short-term rentals

  • Nearly 75% of consumers who are very likely to travel believe short-term rentals provide a valuable alternative to other lodging options when considering travel priorities like safety precautions
  • One-third of travelers plan on staying at a short-term rental

Popularity of in-state travel

  • 73% of consumers plan on traveling in-state
  • More than 72% of consumers say they would be more likely to travel if the government provided a travel tax credit for use in 2021 and 2022
  • 87% of respondents plan on driving to their destination this year and more than 65% of travelers plan to drive up to six hours, making in-state and bordering state travel the go-to for much of post-pandemic travel

“The travel industry has endured enormous strain this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, yet this data shows there is light at the end of the tunnel with Americans ready to travel in 2021,” said Steve Shur, president, Travel Tech. “The survey results clearly indicate that consumers appreciate the convenience and efficiency of what OTAs and metasearch platforms provide—being able to shop across brands, see all of their options in one place and book packages that include air, accommodations, car rentals and tours and tickets.”