WASHINGTON, DC – Leisure traveler confidence hit its highest level during the pandemic with 6 in 10 (62 percent) willing to travel domestically in the next six months, according to the latest monthly Traveler Confidence Index developed by Travel Again. The numbers reinforce the prediction that leisure travel will lead travel recovery as 30 percent of leisure travelers have made future reservations compared to just 11 percent of business travelers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determination that COVID testing will not be required on domestic flights, however, spurred a lack of confidence in traveling with 45 percent of business travelers and 39 percent of leisure travelers saying it decreased their confidence in traveling.
“The decrease in traveler confidence following the CDC announcement demonstrates the power of communicating about policies in a manner that travelers understand,” said Travel Again Co-Founder Mike McCormick. “Without a domestic testing infrastructure in place to support implementing such a policy, it was the right move, but without nuanced communication many travelers may have interpreted the guidance to mean that the industry is not safe - or is not willing to protect the safety of travelers. New guidance for vaccinated individuals does not include any revised guidance for travelers adding further confusion to an already unclear environment for vaccinated and unvaccinated potential travelers alike.”
Additional Key Findings
- The percentage of travelers that are fully “ready to travel” has improved somewhat but is still very low (19% for business travelers and 15% for leisure travelers).
- Over 80% of all travelers would agree to take a COVID-19 vaccine if available.
- Mandatory masks and frequent cleaning are still the most important confidence building elements, even ahead of vaccine usage by travelers or travel provider staff.
Traveler Confidence Index: Business (2.62 to 2.94) and leisure (2.73 to 3.08) confidence ticked up, however, overall traveler confidence is maintaining a low level, with continued significant uncertainty about future traveling for both business and leisure travelers.
Travel Again has developed the Traveler Confidence Index assessing confidence levels in both the business and leisure traveler to guide the prioritization of future travel industry initiatives by measuring the impact on traveler confidence. This fifth edition focuses on U.S. travelers and we will continue reporting out on the index monthly, and will ultimately expand to include other countries as well.