August 12, 2020

Travel Intentions Pulse Survey – Impact of COVID-19 – Wave VII

The MMGY Travel Intelligence team, conducts an ongoing tracking survey to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the travel intentions of U.S. business and leisure travelers. This survey measures current and future traveler sentiment amid the COVID-19 pandemic and tracks trends and shifts in travel intentions. The study polls respondents for both domestic and international travel intent by purpose and type.

Key Findings from Wave VII of the study:

  1. The overall likelihood of taking a business or leisure trip showed a slight decline from last month. Nearly 2 in 5 (38%) respondents intend to take a domestic leisure trip during the next six months, and one-third (31%) are likely to take a domestic business trip during the same time.

  2. Mirroring the nationwide increase in COVID-19 cases, respondents’ concern about personally contracting the virus increased from early June: 55% now compared to 49% about two months ago.

  3. The perceived safety of traveling by car increased, which could account for the increase in likelihood to travel by car during the next six months: from 67% in July to 73% in this wave.

  4. Respondents are willing to travel farther for leisure than they have been willing to in the past. Thirty-eight percent of those who are likely to travel by car are willing to drive 300 miles or more each way – up from 33% last wave.

  5. One in 5 (18%) respondents is moving forward with plans made prior to COVID-19 to rent a car instead of canceling or postponing.

  6. The likelihood of staying in a vacation home during the next six months is the highest observed since survey inception, now at 29% - up from 25% last wave. Travelers continue to report being twice as likely to travel by personal car (67%) than by any other form of transportation. And one-third of those respondents are likely to drive 300 miles or more each way from home for a vacation, with 1 in 5 willing to travel 500 miles or more.

  7. International travel intentions continue to decline, as only 1 in 6 respondents (17%) is likely to take an international leisure trip during the next six months – down from the previous wave (20%).

  8. Additionally, more respondents than last month indicate that the slowdown of the spread in the U.S. will have the greatest impact on their future travel plans, whereas, fewer indicate great travel deals will have an impact.
Planned to Engage in Activities

Majority Canceled Rather Than Postponed

Live Events / Attractions

Likelihood of Taking Domestic Trips

Leisure Trip in Next 6 Months

Leisure and Business Trips

Travel By Car

Willing to Drive Farther

Likelihood of Staying in Hotel, Resort

Likelihood of Visiting Park or Beach

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