ST. PETERSBURG FLA. - Earlier this month, the CDC made the long-awaited change removing requirements for US residents to submit a negative COVID-19 test prior to reentry into the country. Experts say the move correlates with an increase in international travel.
According to travel insurance aggregator Squaremouth, international travel has returned to pre-COVID levels. So far this year, 90% of trips insured on squaremouth.com are for international destinations, compared to 76% for the same time period last year.
The rise in international travel is coming as the travel industry is already struggling to keep up with demand, amid staffing shortages and other operation disruptions.
As a result, Squaremouth reports a 235% increase in travel insurance claims year-to-date, compared to the same period in 2019. Policy sales are also up 180% in that same time period.
Despite the CDC entry rule change, Squaremouth says most travelers still attribute COVID-19 as the main factor that would impact their trip, whether they were to contract the virus before or during their trip.
Since the CDC announcement, 34% of searches on Squaremouth.com are for a policy that covers contracting COVID-19, down from 44% in the preceding week. In comparison, coverage for a COVID-related quarantine fell from 17% of searches to 10%.
Squaremouth Analytics studies trends to establish the state of the travel market and impacts on travel consumers. Squaremouth’s Live Data page reflects travel trends in real time, including where travelers are going and how much they are spending.