After COVID-19: BVK releases results of April 2020 US Travel Sentiment Survey
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06 May 2020 (Edited 06 May 2020)

80% of Americans are thinking about traveling post-COVID-19 but only 50% expect travel to be safe
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Milwaukee-based ad agency BVK has released results of its post-COVID-19 Travel Sentiment Survey based on data collected from 1,015 American adults between 14 and 17 April 2020.

Key findings:

  • More than 80% of respondents said they are either planning a future trip, or thinking or dreaming about future travel.
  • Most trusted source of information on when and where it's safe to travel: US Government
  • Top indicators respondents will use to determine when it's safe to travel again:
    • US Government lifts travel restrictions (cited by 44%)
    • Number of COVID-19 cases/deaths in US has declined (43%)
  • Types of future travel in which respondents said they're most interested:
    • Visiting friends/family 41%
    • Road trip 34%
    • Family getaway 28%
    • Beach getaway 27%
    • Outdoor adventure 19%
    • Small-town getaway 18%
    • Remote/rural destination 17%
  • Respondents expressed mixed feelings about advertising during the pandemic:
    • 53% said they only want to see ads that address advertisers' response to COVID-19.
    • 49% said they feel it's insensitive for travel companies and destinations to advertise now.
    • 43% said that even now they like to see advertising for vacation destinations.
  • 83% said the US travel industry had the ability to reduce the spread of COVID-19 but are split on how well this was done:
    • Appropriately 42%
    • Poorly 40%
  • How respondents rated travel industry sectors on responding appropriately to COVID-19:
    • Airlines 42%
    • Destinations 42%
    • Cruise 33%
  • Perceptions of future safety of travel:
    • Extremely safe 7%
    • Safe 22%
    • Somewhat safe 22%
    • Neutral 17%
    • Somewhat unsafe 16%
    • Unsafe 11%
    • Extremely unsafe 6%
  • When respondents expect US travel restrictions to be lifted:
    • June, July or August 42%
    • September, October or November 26%
  • Types of leisure travel respondents expect to engage in immediately after restrictions are lifted:
    1. Out-of-state 40%
    2. In-state 36%
    3. International 20%
  • Places/events respondents said they will avoid post-COVID-19:
    1. Festivals 50%
    2. Cruises 46%
    3. Group tours 46%
    4. Theme/amusement parks 41%
    5. Large cities 35%
    6. Trips abroad 34%
    7. Beaches 235
    8. Road trips 18%
    9. National monuments and parks 16%
    10. Camping 16%
    11. None 10%
  • Safest modes of transport:
    1. Car 78%
    2. Plane 44%
    3. Train 39%
    4. Bus 22%
    5. Cruise 17%
  • Top concerns re COVID-19:
    1. Safety on public transportation 55%
    2. Spread in large groups 47%
    3. Cleanliness of public areas 29%
    4. Impact of COVID-19 in major tourist cities 28%
    5. Impact of COVID-19 in major tourist countries 20%
    6. Spread of COVID-19 by foreign groups of people 22%

Sample population:

  • 28.6% aged 25-34
  • 54% male
  • 23% with HHI $35-50K
  • 41% South
  • 65% married
  • 56% BA/BS degree
  • 75% employed full-time
  • 51% no children in household
  • 84% have taken domestic leisure trip in past 2 years, 38% international leisure trip

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Comments and projections based on those survey results:

Types of US travel best positioned for post-COVID-19:

  • Drive markets
  • Destinations with major diasporas wanting to visit friends/family there
  • Destinations away from big cities
  • Destinations that can draw tourists in August-November

Types of US travel most disadvantaged by COVID-19 through the rest of 2020:

  • Cruises
  • Big cities, especially those portrayed in media as "pandemic hotspots"
  • Festivals
  • Group tours
  • Theme/amusement parks

Survey results regarding advertising are difficult to interpret. But here's a trial scenario:

Most people don't want travel companies to stop advertising altogether. But they're receptive to ads that acknowledge the challenges that COVID-19 poses for them as would-be travelers, and also help them envision the wonderful trip they'll be able to take to your destination post-COVID-19.

See also these related articles:

Americans are consuming more media, don't want advertising to stop during COVID-19

Why suddenly running only COVID-19 feelgood ads is a bad idea


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External Article: https://mcusercontent.com/5330b6e7dda1ff8088b915bee/files/e5cea302-c7ea-47d4-a53c-e1927f8fe872/BVK_Travel_Sentiment_Survey_Report_Wave_2_4_20_20_FINAL_REPORT_v1.pdf


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