June 2020 COVID-19 US consumer sentiment tracking study just released by London-based market researchers BVA BDRC finds that 45% of Americans believe the worst of the pandemic is still to come.
When survey respondents said they believe life will return to something close to normal:
- By summer 2020 (23%)
- By end of 2020 (29%)
- In 2021 (36%)
- In 2022 or later (6%)
- Never (6%)
- Only 23% of Americans say they plan to take a domestic trip in the next month, 25% plan to book a hotel, and few plan to book a flight (15%) or take an international trip (14%).
- Older consumers (Boomers) are especially concerned about sanitation in public spaces.
- Americans who do travel will likely take fewer and shorter trips, and more trips (+20%) by car, fewer by air (-30%).
- More Americans will be visiting friends and family, and not staying at a hotel.
- One in four will travel closer to home than usual.
- More Americans plan to book hotels with OTAs this summer (54%) than did pre-COVID-19 (40%), for both best value and access to best rooms.
- Popular destinations for summer 2020:
- Mountain or lake (cited by nearly 50%)
- Local attractions
- Beaches and coastal areas
- Unpopular destinations:
- Sporting events
Expectations of hotels (top 10):
- Hand sanitizer throughout the hotel (56%, but 65% of Boomers)
- Enhanced cleaning (50%, but 63% of boomers)
- Hotel brand cleanliness standard (49%)
- Staff wear face masks (40%)
- Daily staff health checks (37%)
- Enforced social distancing (36%)
- Reduced max capacity (35%)
- Cleanliness standards verified by government or other institution (34%)
- Controlled numbers of persons in each area of hotel (34%)
- Prompting of social distancing by staff and/or signage (32%)
14% of respondents said they won't stay in a hotel - and 24% won't stay in a short-term rental - until a vaccine or cure for COVID-19 is found.
Only 7% said they are happy to stay at a hotel without any changes - 5% in a short-term rental.
Regarding everyday leisure activities:
- 53% of respondents said they anticipate going to a restaurant in the next month.
- 44% anticipate going shopping.
- 27% can envision going on a day out to a visitor attraction.
- But only 16% can see themselves visiting a museum or cultural attraction.
Based on these survey results, who in the leisure travel business will do best in summer 2020?
- Those in rural locations
- Those in drive markets of major cities
- Those in locations with a large diaspora of friends/family not too far away
- Hotels that are really diligent about sanitation and social distancing