According to a recent survey commissioned by ValuePenguin (a LendingTree company), about 48 percent of Americans were forced to cancel their summer travel plans this year because of COVID-19.
Of those, 46 percent lost money on associated cancellation fees and nonrefundable deposits, averaging almost $855 per person among the survey group. Most of those losses came from airline tickets (59 percent) and hotel room reservations (44 percent).
Of those who canceled Airbnb bookings, 22 percent forfeited nonrefundable fees. Other losses were related to tours or activities (25 percent) and cruise deposits (21 percent), and eleven percent forfeited miscellaneous travel-related expenses.
The study also indicated that consumers’ attitudes about travel have been permanently affected by the pandemic. Only fifteen percent reported feeling more positive toward the industry, while 43 percent of respondents said that they now harbor more negative sentiments about the travel industry and foresee altering their behavior as a result. For instance, 55 percent said they’re less likely to take a cruise post-pandemic, and 52 percent admitted to feeling more fearful about traveling overseas.
One in six Americans also indicated that they plan to wait a full year after the crisis abates before traveling again. Additionally, 35 percent said they anticipate waiting more than six months, but less than a year, to resume travel; while 29 percent said they’d willingly travel in under six months post-COVID-19 and 20 percent were still undecided.
While health-and-safety worries will no doubt linger once it’s safe to travel again, financial concerns are also likely to be top-of-mind for consumers even after the coronavirus threat has passed. Of those surveyed, 20 percent said they’re reallocating their vacation savings toward other expenses amid the current economic upheaval, though 27 reported contributing to their vacation funds as usual.
Still, depending upon how long lockdown lasts, cabin fever may yet spur many U.S. citizens to book a vacation once the threat has passed. Of those that participated in the survey, 25 percent—particularly Millennials (34 percent), Gen Xers (32 percent), parents of children under eighteen (42 percent) and six-figure earners (41 percent)—said that they intend to take a “celebratory trip” once COVID-19 comes under control.
Proceeding more cautiously than ever before, 40 percent of consumers said that they’re more likely to purchase travel insurance policies when booking future travel. Although, eighteen percent said that the current global health crisis actually made them less inclined to consider insuring their future trips.
ValuePenguin commissioned Qualtrics to conduct a survey of 1,200 Americans, using a sample base that’s proportionately representative of the overall population, which was fielded from April 3 through April 6, 2020.
For more information, visit valuepenguin.com/news/americans-cancel-travel-coronavirus.
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