Americans will change how they travel after COVID-19

COVID-19 may not have just cancelled trips, it might change how Americans choose their travel destinations and the experiences they seek, at least for a while. The latest Destination Analysts’ Coronavirus Travel Sentiment Index Report (collected March 27-29), 66.1% of the 1,200 American travellers surveyed said the virus had affected their travel.

Destination Analysts is a market research company that provides the travel, tourism and hospitality industry with in-depth audience insights.

The good news for the travel industry from their analysis is that Americans miss traveling. Although when asked the first word they associate with travel in the present moment, expressions of fear dominate, nevertheless, two-thirds agree or strongly agree that they miss travel and cannot wait to get out and travel again.

What will be critical to how the travel industry recovers is how Americans feel about the travel they used to do and if they return to the same set of desires and trip experiences, or alter them.

One in three American travellers now say they will change the types of destinations they choose to visit after the coronavirus situation is resolved and another third are unsure if they will.

When probed as why they feel this way, these travellers said things such as “I won’t visit any place where a lot of people go,” “I will not travel anywhere that has not shown virus cases to be 0%”, and “I will probably be more local”.

For medical tourism destinations targeting Americans, there may be a need to convince potential customers that both the country and the specific destination are ultra-safe.