Not necessarily outbound to USA, It’s Still Reassuring to U.S. Industry: While it is encouraging to suggest that, given the opportunity, Europeans “would if they could” travel abroad, the focus of some new survey findings is more about travel by Europeans within Europe (which is also the largest overseas regional source market for travel to the USA). The findings of the recent survey, conducted for LuggageHero,* show that most Europeans are ready to travel—this year if they could. According to the survey results:
—20 percent of European respondents are waiting until 2021 to travel abroad and an extra 6 percent said they will wait for a vaccine before leaving the country.
—A surprising 60 percent of number of those who would typically travel for business said they still expect to have at least one business trip in 2020.
—60 percent said their 2020 travel budgets will be the same as before the pandemic or just slightly lower, compared with 51 percent in April.
—Twenty-six percent of Europeans will wait until the next year or for a vaccine to travel abroad. Almost half of the survey participants would like to go to another country before September if quarantine restrictions are lifted, while 26 percent will wait until next year, with 6 percent of those people said that would be only on the condition that a vaccine has been made available. These numbers represent a 23 percent rise in willingness to travel abroad in 2020 compared the same survey conducted in April. the European respondents.
—Three out of four (75 percent) of Europeans will have a road trip or a city break inside their own country.
—More than half of European respondents are planning to travel inside the country in the summer months, and another 20 percent are so eager to travel they will hit the road within the first 15 days after restrictions are lifted. At the same time, 3 percent said they would not leave their own city until a vaccine is available. A similar group of 3 percent say they will wait for the economy to return to normal before leaving their city.
—While online meetings have become routine in the last two months, people still value face-to-face interactions, especially when it comes to professional business matters. Only 17 percent of survey respondents said they have adapted to the efficiency of the online meetings, and—against all odds—60 percent believe they will have at least one business trip by the end of 2020.
—More than three-quarters of survey respondents said the financial impact to their household was relatively small, from 0 to 25 percent. However, 11 percent said that since the pandemic started, their monthly household income has dropped by more than 50 percent.
—Forty-two percent (this is up six percent from the previous month) said they expect to spend the same amount as planned earlier, and 18 percent will decrease their budget by only 0-20 percent. Comparatively, the same survey in April showed that 36 percent would stick to the same travel budget for this year, while projected decreases in spending were slightly lower. Perhaps travelers found some financial solutions or were feeling more fearful in the first phases of the quarantine.
*LuggageHero is a short-term luggage storage provider in 40 European and North American cities. The customer survey was conducted from May 10-14, 2020, via online forms and ensured gender and age balance, as well as geographical representation.
Meanwhile, back in the USA, a survey of the active members of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) about post-COVID 19 plans for recovery and resumption of business showed that:
—More than half (57 percent) of active member respondents reported that business on the books for 2021 is rebooked guests from cancelled 2020 departures. One third (32 percent) of active member business for 2021 is comprised of existing reservations made prior to the coronavirus outbreak, and 11 percent represents new reservations made in 2020.
—Eighty percent of current active member traveler bookings are to international destinations, the remaining 20 percent of traveler bookings are to North America (U.S., Canada and Mexico).
—A quarter (26 percent) of tour operators foresee restarting operations in September 2020, while an equal number (26 percent) anticipate returning to the region in the first quarter of 2021.
The survey was completed on May 11, with a 56 percent response rate of active member brands.