May 27, 2020

The MMGY Global Travel Safety Barometer

MMGY Travel Intelligence introduces the first-of-its-kind measurement: the Travel Safety Barometer. This report was created as a tool for the travel and tourism industries to gauge how safe U.S. business and leisure travelers believe it is to travel and participate in related activities as COVID-19 continues to fundamentally change all aspects of our society.

Every month, data is culled from MMGY Global’s proprietary Travel Intentions Pulse Survey, providing a comprehensive picture about how safe Americans think it is to travel.

Travel Safety Measure Ticks Upward as Travel Industry Starts Recovery.

The MMGY Global Travel Safety Barometer is a sentiment tracking tool that measures Americans’ perceptions of the safety of engaging in specific travel behaviors on a scale from 0 (Extremely Unsafe) to 100 (Extremely Safe). It is based on a nationally representative survey of all active travelers in the country that is conducted monthly using MMGY Global’s proprietary Travel Intentions Pulse database. Barometer metrics are published for both domestic and international travel, as well as category-specific metrics for transportation, lodging, cruising, dining and entertainment.

Travel Safety

Business Travel and the Cruise Industry Battle Safety Concerns.

While the relative safety of driving in a personal vehicle propels the MMGY Global Transportation Barometer higher, both the Business Travel Safety and Cruise Safety Barometers signal a more challenging recovery for these industry segments.

Business and Cruise Industry

Travelers Continue to Feel Safest In Their Own Cars.

Survey data continues to support the notion that travelers are most likely to travel by car as the pandemic subsides. In addition, travelers say they are more likely to choose destinations that are closer to home, and are most likely to visit friends and family as the primary motivation for their first postpandemic leisure trip.


Safety Perception of Short-Term Rentals Exceeds Hotels and Resorts.

For the fourth straight survey wave, consumers rated the perceived safety at short-term rental properties to be slightly higher than traditional hotels and resorts. This may be related to a greater sense of control travelers have in a rental unit, which often includes more space and longer length of stay.


Business Travel Recovery Is Likely to Take Longer Than Leisure.

As evidenced by previous travel industry downturns, including after 9/11 and the Great Recession, business travel will likely take longer to recover than leisure travel. Corporate meetings travel will have to overcome increased comfort with the use of video conferencing, and conferences and conventions will face the challenge of large gatherings as concerns about the pandemic linger.

Business Travel

Outdoor Experiences Are Considered Much Safer Than Indoor Entertainment.

As long as the fear of COVID-19 infection remains, activities that typically take place indoors and with larger crowds in contained spaces will continue to struggle to attract visitors. Destinations that offer outdoor activities and natural experiences, such as state and national parks and beaches, are perceived to be much safer and will likely recover more readily from the pandemic.


Reassuring Passengers Will Be Key to Cruise Industry Recovery.

With a Barometer score of just 18 on a scale from 1–100, the cruise industry will have to work hard to convince potential travelers that it’s once again safe to board their ships. However, with a built-in sales network of travel agents across the globe, the industry should be well-positioned to recover as the perception of traveler safety improves.


Source: MMGY Global Travel Safety Barometer; May 20, 2020

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