Traveler Survey: COVID-19 is a Concern, But Not Enough to Cancel Trips

LEBANON, NH—Most travelers (86%) are concerned about the novel coronavirus, but overwhelmingly (89%) still plan to travel, based on the results of a Global Rescue survey of its members who are among the most experienced travelers in the world.

“Nearly 60% of our members say they are not changing their travel plans due to coronavirus, about 16% are taking a wait-and-see approach, 12% are revising travel plans, 8% are postponing and 4% have canceled trips,” said Scott Hume, VP, operations, Global Rescue.

Travelers are largely concerned about potentially ending up quarantined. “Every traveler should be aware that restrictions—like mandatory quarantines or entry denials—can be imposed without warning,” Hume said.

One Global Rescue member said, “The issue is not the risk of being sick—it is the risk of being stuck somewhere under quarantine for an extended time period.”

Travelers preferred—by an overwhelming three-to-one margin—getting medical advice, a diagnosis or a prescription using a smartphone for access to online video call with a physician if they suspect they have been exposed, instead of visiting a doctor’s office.

Hume said the survey results are consistent with the large uptick in membership sales that include access to virtual health services since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Survey Results

  • How likely are you to travel in 2020, either domestically or internationally? Very likely (88%); Somewhat likely (8%); Somewhat unlikely (2%); Very unlikely (1%) 
  • How concerned are you about travel safety in 2020? Not concerned (14%); Somewhat concerned (51%); Concerned (23%); Very Concerned (11%) 
  • Did the outbreak of coronavirus compel you to: Cancel travel plans (4%); Postpone travel plans (8%); Revise travel plans (12%); None of the above (58%); Other (16%)
  • During a quarantine, would you prefer to get medical advice, a diagnosis or a prescription by: Visiting a doctor’s office (24%); Using a smartphone, tablet, or desktop for an online video call with a physician (76%)