Pandemic And Its Surges Shape Consumers’ Leisure Activity Attitudes

The pandemic has disrupted daily life in countless ways and shifted consumer attitudes toward a wide range of activities. Morning Consult has tracked comfort levels with numerous leisure activities over the past nine weeks and, after showing steady improvements into the middle of June, surging COVID-19 cases began pushing acceptance levels downward.

In mid-June, consumers’ comfort levels with dining out (41 percent), going to a shopping mall (35 percent) and going on vacation (36 percent) were on the rise, in many cases more than doubling from where they were in late April, when Morning Consult began tracking. But as coronavirus numbers climbed rapidly upwards through the last half of June and into July, consumers’ comfort levels regarding leisure activities began to degrade. In Morning Consult’s July 14-16 survey, going out to eat had slipped to 36 percent, while going to a shopping mall and going on vacation both stood at 30 percent.

Morning Consult’s survey also asked consumers when they expected to feel safe in returning to leisure activities. It reports a similar increase in consumer comfort with doing most activities through mid-June, followed by a plateau or drop. Its study found that 28 percent expect to feel comfortable going out to eat within the next month and 27 percent say in more than six months. Similarly, 24 percent expect to feel comfortable going to a shopping mall within the next month and 29 percent say in more than six months; while only 16 percent say they’d be comfortable going on vacation within the next month and 36 percent say in more than six months.

The survey results show particularly troubling news for some already-struggling industries, with 44 percent saying they wouldn’t be comfortable going to an amusement park for more than six months, 45 percent say the same regarding going to a concert and 46 percent regarding traveling abroad.

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