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Study finds agents are adapting to meet clients’ evolving concerns and interests

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MMGY Myriad and Travel Market Report collaborate on COVID-19 Sentiment Tracking Study of travel advisors

KANSAS CITY, MO - MMGY Myriad, a leader in international destination marketing, and Travel Market Report, a news publication that serves as the voice of travel advisors in North America, have partnered on an industry tracking survey to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel agencies. The Travel Advisors COVID-19 Sentiment Barometer is an online survey designed and analyzed by MMGY Travel Intelligence.

The results of the first survey indicate that travel agencies have experienced a significant shift in client inquiries from international destinations to domestic destinations in the U.S. and Canada. In recent weeks, 40% of all travel advisor inquiries are about travel to U.S. destinations, more than doubling the proportion of domestic inquiries as compared to levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The team at Travel Market Report is excited to partner with MMGY Myriad to release the first edition of our Travel Advisors COVID-19 Sentiment Barometer. We believe it is important to gauge what advisors are seeing because they are on the frontlines of the travel industry and are first to recognize booking trends,” said Daniel McCarthy, Editor-in-Chief of Travel Market Report. “This data will also help advisors not only survive this period but come out stronger.”

Julie Cuesta, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of MMGY Myriad, adds, “This vital information will assist both destinations and travel brands to better support the travel advisor community as we all make important adjustments to our business.”

Key findings from Wave 1 of the Barometer, which surveyed more than 300 travel advisors in the U.S. and Canada from June 1–10, 2020, include:

  • Nine in 10 advisors anticipate business will be down more than 50% this year, even as they are starting to see interest in domestic travel rising.
  • Travel advisors reported that cruising inquiries currently account for just 22% of all client inquiries, which is down from 32% prior to COVID-19.
  • Most travel advisors are currently booking vacations seven months or more in the future. The booking window is shortest for North American vacations and increases for international travel, cruises and group tour vacations.
  • Travel advisors report that outdoor vacations are of most interest to clients, specifically to North American beach and mountain destinations.
  • Compared to the time prior to COVID-19, travelers appear to be more interested in staying in small, boutique hotels and private villas/cabins and less interested in staying in large/resort hotels and short-term rentals.
  • Travel advisors are just as likely to trust travel trade media (68%) as they are the CDC (67%) for information about the impact of COVID-19 and about destination information overall.
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