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Americans Will Change How They Travel After Coronavirus

COVID-19 may not have just canceled trips, but changed how Americans choose their travel destinations and the experiences they seek–at least for awhile.

In the latest wave of Destination Analysts’ Coronavirus Travel Sentiment tracking study (collected March 27-29), 66.1% of the 1,200+ American leisure and business travelers surveyed said their travel had been upended by the virus—essentially flat from last week, and far less dramatic than the 20-percentage point gain from one week prior.

Destination Analysts’ ongoing travel sentiment survey reveals how COVID-19 may more deeply change travel

The good news for the travel industry 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…I can’t wait to get out and travel again.”

Yet a sentiment that will be critical to how 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.  As of this week, nearly one-third of American travelers now say they will change the types of destinations they choose to visit after the coronavirus situation is resolved (29.0%).

Another 26.0% are unsure if they will. When probed as why they feel this way, these travelers 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%,” “I will probably be more local with only one person in party,” “I will be camping, instead of relying on how others clean and care for different spaces,” and “I will be spending more time doing individual things and outdoor activities.”

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