Pandemic Disrupts But Does Not Cancel Consumers’ Travel Plans

Despite the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel remains on the minds of many. In its latest travel intelligence report, MMGY Global, a marketing company specializing in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries, found that 64 percent of travelers expect to take a leisure trip within the next six months.

In a typical year, the leisure travel industry would be preparing to wind down as Labor Day weekend approaches. This year, however, MMGY sees the traditional summer peak period stretching beyond Labor Day and into early October. In fact, 54 percent of travelers say that they are more likely to travel in the fall this year than in previous years. For corporate travel, only 29 percent of business travelers expect to take a business trip in the next three months.

With many schools across the country starting later than normal and others remaining virtual this fall, MMGY suggests that the extended season gives families more opportunities to travel, most likely by car. Seventy-three percent of travelers said they would feel safest and be most likely to travel in their own personal car, the highest indicator MMGY has seen since studying travel sentiment during the pandemic.

While the demand and interest in travel remains high, one-third of travelers list concerns about personal finances as a potential barrier to travel. The post-Labor Day season provides these travelers an opportunity to stretch out travel budgets during a more value-oriented time period, especially in destinations that feature outdoor activities like beaches and parks, which continue to lead interest among travelers in MMGY’s data.

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