The travel industry as a whole is one of the most impacted by COVID-19, with a projected $910 billion hit to the U.S. economy according to Forbes.
While there are clear shifts in the industry right now, research demand remains as people are eager to travel following the pandemic.
What to Expect
- Increased trip cancellations for upcoming months, but demand has not fully diminished
- While 65.3% of customers canceled a trip, 53.1% of American travelers expect to be traveling in the fall, as September trips have seen an increase.
- Booking windows are increasing to 91+ days
- Shifts in sentiment regarding why people may not travel
- Travelers are still concerned about avoiding crowded destinations, but personal finance as an impact has seen an increase to 7 out of 10
- Demographic trends to remain consistent with the media
- Younger generations are more accepting of risk and are more adventurous travelers.
- Private vacation rental companies to thrive
- Consumers will be proceeding travel with more caution, shifting from a large resort mentality to stay-cations
- Companies are shifting their marketing
- These efforts now reflect social distancing messaging or ways to allow people to view tourism destinations from their home.
What You Can Do
- Stay informed with sentiment, intentions, booking behavior, travel bans, and economic impact updates as trends are continuously shifting.
- Ensure Google My Business and Google Merchant Centers are updated regularly with any shifts in business operations.
- Update website content with FAQs on refunds, call center hours, event cancellations, rescheduling policies, etc. to ensure that customers are able to easily find the information that they are looking for.
- Acknowledge the importance of safety, and build brand value
- Are you donating face masks and food, or offering rooms for responders at no cost to front-line health-care workers? Highlight these efforts! “How to help coronavirus” spiked in Google Trends data as more people and companies are trying to support one another during this time.
- We recommend offering promotions or reward programs, if possible, once the economy starts opening back up to help aid the financial concerns mentioned above.
- Get prepared for the comeback. While there are a lot of concerns and uncertainties right now, people are still thinking about traveling post-pandemic
We know that the travel industry has been hit hard, but it is resilient. In the past, travel has rebounded quickly, especially as there will be pent-up demand with people ready to get away. Stay informed, stay safe, and reach out if you have any questions!
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