Of those US citizens who are cautiously planning a trip of some kind over the course of the summer, road trips, family events and long weekends were the most popular options. Sixty-eight per cent of these respondents also said that they were likely to stay in a hotel, which perhaps demonstrates growing confidence in the hospitality industry.
Breaking down the responses from those planning – or at least considering – a trip, 59 per cent said that they would take their first overnight trip by the end of the summer. Seventy-two per cent said that a road trip was on the agenda, while 43 per cent said that they would lodge with family or friends. Only nine per cent said that they would be opting for Airbnb or a similar short-term rental.
The survey points out that around 70 per cent of Americans usually take a holiday over the course of a year, so the 44 per cent who responded positively for this report demonstrate that there is still a way to go to build confidence back to pre-pandemic levels. Arguably, however, considering the fact that in many US states the infection rate is far from being under control, 44 per cent could be seen as fairly respectable.
“Travel is by no means back yet, but we are encouraged to see people begin to travel as their communities reopen, and we all learn to navigate this new normal,” said Chip Rogers, President and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “If you are thinking about travelling in 2020, my message to you is that hotels are clean and safe places, and we are ready to welcome you when you’re ready to travel. Through our Safe Stay initiative, we’ve enhanced our already rigorous cleaning protocols to be more transparent and give you even more peace of mind.”
As with all walks of life, the question of how to balance personal safety with the desire to return to some form of normality is a debate for individuals and their families. As lockdown begins to ease and hotels put new hygiene measures into place to encourage guests to stay once more, obeying local rules relating to social distancing and the wearing of masks is more important than ever in order to avoid subsequent spikes in the virus that would set back the resumption of travel.