Third of Americans more likely to travel internationally with entry testing dropped

The travel industry received some long-awaited news last week when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it was lifting its requirement for travelers to test negative for COVID-19 before entering the country. On the heels of this news, MMGY Travel Intelligence, a source for travel and tourism data, surveyed 774 Americans and 436 Britons. The following are highlights of these findings.

American travelers:

  • 36% of Americans are more likely to travel outside the U.S. within the next six months because the testing requirement has been lifted.
  • 44% of Americans said the news does not impact their intent to travel internationally at all.
  • 20% of those surveyed said they are less likely to travel internationally in the next six months without the testing requirement in place.

British travelers:

  • 52% of British respondents said they are more likely to book a trip to the U.S. in the next six months because the COVID-19 testing requirement has been removed.
  • 37% said the news affects the likelihood of them booking a trip to the U.S.
  • Only 11% said the end of the testing requirement would make them less likely to book a trip to the U.S.

“The travel industry has been lobbying for this restriction to be lifted for months because the scientific data did not support a need for it,” said Clayton Reid, CEO, MMGY Global. “This is now the removal of an important barrier for continuing international travel recovery, both inbound and outbound U.S. However, our industry still needs to monitor how inflation and concerns around safety and social unrest are impacting travelers’ decisions. In our data, these are very real challenges.”

The survey also questioned respondents about non-COVID related concerns. Almost three in five Americans (59%) said the cost of international airfare and lodging will impact their decision to travel, and 47% said concerns about their personal safety related to violence and unrest will impact their decision to travel internationally. British respondents were a bit less concerned about costs and safety when traveling to the U.S., but the numbers should still be of concern to travel and tourism brands. Forty-nine percent said the cost of airfare and lodging will impact their decision to travel to America, and 39% said their personal safety concerns will impact their decisions.

In general, Americans’ intentions to travel have remained fairly consistent over the last year, though international travel recovery has lagged behind domestic travel. MMGY Travel Intelligence’s 2022 Portrait of American Travelers “Summer Edition” found that 65% of U.S. travelers intend to take a leisure trip in the next six months.