A new survey of Americans with pending travel plans from HotelPlanner.com asked respondents about their plans to deal with travel in the midst of the global coronavirus outbreak. Of those surveyed, 84 percent had or currently have plans to travel within the next 3 months, and of that group, nearly 79 percent were planning on traveling domestically while 21 percent had international bookings.
The main question being asked in the company’s Coronavirus Travel Impact survey is whether or not travel plans will continue to hold up or if there will be mass cancellations in reaction to the spread of the coronavirus. An astounding 75 percent of all travelers said they will NOT cancel their travel.
That number holds stronger for domestic travelers—of those who are traveling within the U.S., 79 percent will not be cancelling. That number drops to 60 percent when assessing international travelers.
Government’s response to the outbreak
The President has pitched a coronavirus-related stimulus package to Congress in an aim to offer targeted relief to tourism and hospitality industries. HotelPlanner’s CEO, Tim Hentschel, has also called for a $2,000 tax credit for travel within the United States for tax payers to help the industry rebound. When asked whether or not consumers would book a trip if there was a stimulus of $2,000 per traveler after the outbreak was contained, nearly 83 percent of HotelPlanner survey respondents answered “Yes.”
Younger people are more willing to travel during the coronavirus scare and be around large groups
People aged 18 to 29 are significantly more likely than all other age groups to take advantage of low flight prices and book more flights. For example, 21 percent of 18 to 29 year olds have already booked new flights to take advantage of deals. On the other hand, only 10 percent of people 60 or older have done the same. Similarly, only about 13 percent of people between the ages of 30 and 60 have booked flights to take advantage of discounts.
Likewise, younger people are significantly more willing to attend a large conference (1,000 or more attendees) over the next four months—60 percent of people age 18 to 29 would not cancel their attendance at such a conference, whereas just 40 percent of people over 60 would be willing to take such a risk. Likewise, only about 52 percent of people between the ages of 30 and 60 said they would attend a large conference during the Coronavirus scare.
These findings possibly line up with the messaging out there that younger and healthier people are less likely to experience complications from the coronavirus, whereas people older than 60 are at a higher risk.
This survey that was taken on March 11, 2020, prior to the President’s announcement of a 30-day ban on travel from Europe to the U.S.