- Özgür Töre
As we approach the holiday season, American travelers have an abiding desire to travel, even as the country navigates the challenges of the pandemic.
According to a recent poll by the market research firm Destination Analysts, a future trip and particularly domestically and with family members remains a priority for American travelers.
This finding accords with the Let’s Go There initiative, which has consulted with researchers to identify the demonstrable benefits of looking forward to and planning a future travel experience.
“Let’s Go There, Together,” a key message being shared by thousands of organizations on social and digital channels, reminds families this holiday of the joy that future travels together will bring after months of missed getaways and road trips.
Content is tagged using the hashtag #LetsMakePlans.
This week, fewer agree that they have lost their interest in/taste for traveling for the time being (down to 42.4% from 46.6%).
Americans travel readiness state-of-mind remained stable (54.6%), as did the proportion that says they will engage in travel avoidance until the coronavirus situation is more resolved (54.7%). There is also a declining need for a vaccine to travel (39.5%).
As to how the pandemic has shifted priorities and the way this will potentially impact travel in the longer term, this week researchers asked Americans “As you look out over the next two years, in which ways (if at all) do you expect your travel priorities will change compared to BEFORE the Coronavirus situation?” The most agreement was shared that they would be traveling more domestically/seeing the United States and traveling more with family.
Nearly a quarter say they will be visiting more destinations on their bucket list and saying yes to new travel ideas and experiences.
Nearly half of American travelers (47%) report that they would feel either happy or very happy to receive a travel-related gift this holiday season.
The finding suggests that, with abundant travel offers available from providers across the industry, particularly on Black Friday and Cyber Monday—many featuring flexible booking and cancellation policies—the gift of travel will be a welcome gift for loved ones this holiday season.
“We all deserve a pick-me-up this holiday season more than ever, and thinking about your next trip is a great way to go about it,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow, whose organization helped found Let’s Go There. “Even if it needs to happen down the road, having a trip on the books is a phenomenal mood lifter, and offers and travel policies are incredibly favorable right now.
“Giving future travel as a gift could be—maybe should be—the theme of the season,” Dow said.
Nearly 60% of respondents agree that getting a vacation scheduled in the next six months would make them feel there is something happy to look forward to, according to Destination Analysts. This comports with research by the Institute for Applied Positive Research, which found that 71% of respondents to its survey reported feeling greater levels of energy knowing they had a trip planned in the next six months.
In addition to online digital and social media placements through Dec. 31, “Let’s Go There, Together” messages will also be featured in Lightbox video displays at over a hundred shopping malls and retail sites nationwide, from the West Coast to New England.
Since its launch in early September, the Let’s Go There movement has been embraced by over 3,000 travel organizations, using common messages and imagery to reach millions of future travelers. The Let’s Go There Coalition, the initiative’s steering committee, is comprised of more than 80 businesses in the travel industry and beyond, including: American Airlines; American Express; the American Resort Development Association; Chase; Delta Air Lines; Disney Parks, Experiences and Products; Ecolab; Enterprise Holdings, Inc.; Expedia; Hilton; the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Visitor & Convention Bureau; Hyatt Hotels Corporation; the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority; Loews Hotels & Co; Marriott International; PepsiCo; Sabre; the South Dakota Department of Tourism; United Airlines; the U.S. Travel Association; Visa; Visit California; Visit Spokane; and World Cinema, Inc., among other organizations