According to a national survey by Morning Consult for the American Hotel & Lodging Association, U.S. leisure travelers are reducing their travel plans in light of rising COVID-19 cases. 69 percent plan to reduce their travel, 55 percent will postpone travel plans and 42 percent will cancel plans that have already been made. 72 percent of Americans are more likely to travel within driving distance than the other three-quarters, a report said.
Although leisure travel has been declining since Labor Day, it is still vital throughout the year. This new survey highlights the continuing negative effects of the pandemic travel epidemic and emphasizes the need to provide federal relief such as the Save Hotel Jobs Act.
Nearly 500,000 hotel jobs were lost in the pandemic. A hotel supports 26 additional jobs within the community for every 10 people who are directly employed at a hotel. This includes restaurants, retail, and hotel supply companies. There are nearly 1.3 million additional hotel-supported jobs at risk.
From August 11-12, 2021, 2,200 adults were surveyed. 1.707 of these respondents, or 78 percent, were leisure travelers, that is, people who indicated they might travel for pleasure in 2021. These are the top findings from leisure travelers:
- Sixty-nine percent are likely to take fewer trips and 65 percent are likely to take shorter trips
- Forty-two percent are likely to cancel existing travel plans with no plans to reschedule
- Fifty-five percent are likely to postpone existing travel plans until a later date
- Seventy-two percent are likely to only travel to places they can drive to
- Seventy percent are likely to travel with smaller groups
Recently released AHLA survey results show that business travelers are also scaling back their travel plans amid rising COVID-19 cases. This includes 67 percent planning to travel fewer, 52 percent of those surveyed likely to cancel their existing travel plans, and 60 percent who plan to delay or postpone any existing plans.