COVID-19 Travel Sentiment Monitor – February Report
COVID-19 Travel Sentiment Monitor – February Report
Feb 15, 2021

 

A new survey to address how our worldwide customers are perceiving the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel shows that they are continuing to stay close to home but are feeling hopeful about the future. Even though a lot of time has passed since the start of the pandemic, we can see that traveling is still a distant dream for many of us.

According to our survey, 70% of our participants worldwide have NOT booked any trips for February, March or April.

It seems that around most of the globe, traveling is not in the cards yet. The area with the most people who have booked a trip in February, March or April is the United States, with the United Kingdom having the least trips booked for those three months.

Other key findings include:

  1. 66% of our participants worldwide intend to get the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as they can.
  2. 60% of participants worldwide are considering replacing international travel with domestic travel in 2021.
  3. 5% of participants worldwide do not intend on ever getting the Covid-19 vaccine.

Since the pandemic lockdowns started, we have regularly polled travelers around the world. This current customer survey was conducted between February 1-12, 2021, via online forms and ensured gender and age balance. Here are the findings in detail for this month’s survey, and you can also check out the reports for JulyMayApril, March or October.

Few trips booked in February, March and April

The pandemic is still taking its toll on the travel industry, and for most of us travel is still a distant dream. Our data shows that 70% of respondents worldwide have not booked any trips in February, March or April, 2021.

Unlike the UK and the EU, where 76% and 72% respectively have not booked any trips, only 57% of our participants based in the US have not booked any. The travelers based in the US have booked mostly two-person trips, followed by a family or group trip and a solo trip. Fewer trips have been booked for businesses purposes.

Worldwide, only 2% of the participants have planned a business trip for the months of February, March and April 2021.

booked trips

 

Fewer people reducing their travel budget

Back in October, we noticed that 46% of our participants said that they would reduce their travel budget by more than 40%. Now, a few months later in February, and with a whole new year in front of us, the optimism of travel resuming can be seen through the numbers.

Only 29% of our respondents say that they will reduce their budget by more than 40%, compared to the 40% back in October. That could mean that many of the travelers surveyed are seeing an end to the pandemic and hoping that 2021 makes a better year for travel. According to CNN travel, the number of people busting out of their countries will start creeping up this spring and rise higher by mid-year, so we expect to see even fewer people deciding to reduce their budget on the next survey.

The lowest reduction of budget is in the UK, with a total of 52% of participants saying that they will not reduce their travel budget in 2021 at all. They are closely followed by the EU, with 47% noting that they will not reduce their budget, followed by the US with 38% of participants. The participants from the US will reduce their budget for travel the most in 2021, with a total of 18% of travelers reducing their travel budget by more than 60%, a surprisingly high number.

You can see how the sentiment on travel budget has changed since the start of the pandemic up until now.

10% of participants have received a Covid-19 vaccine

We were pleased to see that the vaccine has already reached so many of the participants of our survey. The participants who received most of the vaccines are located in the US, while those who received the least are located in the EU.

On top of that, 66% of participants worldwide intend on receiving the Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available. Surprisingly, another 10% of participants worldwide also state that they would only get the vaccine if it becomes mandatory for travel, with 5% who do not intend on getting the vaccine at all. CNN travel note that the increasing wide use of vaccination could be the reason for travel to resume at the end of spring.

While the differences are not particularly significant, it seems that participants from the EU have the most positive perception on getting vaccinated, with a total of 70% who plan on getting the vaccine, compared to 65% in the UK and 64% in the US.

Many people plan to revenge travel

Have you heard of revenge travel? The term is used to refer to people going on extra trips or splurging after the corona crisis because they were deprived of that possibility for so long. Our survey results show that a large amount of people worldwide aim to revenge travel. A total of 45% of our participants worldwide aim to engage in revenge travel, but only after waiting a bit to make sure it is completely safe.

Then we have the travelers who may feel like they have held travel on pause for way too long to keep on waiting – 30% of the participants worldwide will revenge travel «as soon as they can.» That leaves only 25% of our worldwide respondents saying no to revenge travel and staying home a bit longer.

There are theories that revenge travel can reignite tourism after the pandemic. However, we still don’t know where the hotspots for revenge travel will be. There is good indication that revenge travel in the US will start soon, with domestic travel first, to start up the long awaited recovery in tourism.

You can check out the full results below:

Have you booked any trip(s) for February, March or April (2021)? WW US UK EU
No 70 57 76 72
Yes, a trip for two people 13 20 8 13
Yes, a solo trip 9 10 9 9
Yes, a family or a group trip 6 12 5 5
Yes, a business trip 2 1 2 1
100 100 100 100
Are you considering giving up traveling in February, March or April even if you already booked tickets? WW US UK EU
I have not planned to travel in February or March 65 52 74 65
No, I will still travel, as long as my homeplace and the destination won`t be in quarantine 25 39 14 25
I already cancelled my trip or I am about to 10 9 12 10
100 100 100 100
 If you will still travel, did your itinerary change because of the current situation? WW US UK EU
I will not be traveling 71 57 81 72
No, I will visit the places I wanted to see when I booked the trip 13 19 9 11
Yes, I will just focus on the outdoors and avoid big cities as much as possible 10 18 5 10
Yes, I will try to avoid public transportation, therefore I cannot see everything I wanted 5 6 4 6
My plans included a big meeting/ a conference / an event
which is or will be cancelled so I will fill the gap in my schedule
1 0 1 1
100 100 100 100
Are you considering replacing international travel with domestic travel in 2021? WW US UK EU
Yes 60 55 65 60
No 33 33 29 37
I will not travel at all in 2021 7 12 6 3
100 100 100 100
Did your 2021 travel budget change because of the COVID-19 situation? WW US UK EU
No, I don`t think I will reduce my travel budget for this year 46 38 52 47
Yes, I will probably reduce my travel budget by 20-40% 16 16 13 18
Yes, I will probably reduce my travel budget by 40-60% 15 20 15 11
Yes, I will probably reduce my travel budget by more than 60% 14 18 13 12
Yes, I will probably reduce my travel budget by 0-20% 9 8 7 12
100 100 100 100
Have you gotten already or do you intend to get a COVID-19 Vaccine in order to travel? WW US UK EU
Yes, I intend to get it. 66 64 65 70
Yes, I already got it. 10 20 14 4
I will get the vaccine only if it is mandatory for travel. 10 4 11 10
I have not decided yet. 9 7 5 10
No, I  don’t intend to get it and I have not gotten it. 5 5 5 6
100 100 100 100
Do you think you might participate in what is called «Revenge Travel»?
(«revenge travelling» = people going on extra trips or splurging after the Corona Crisis
because they were deprived of that possibility for so long.)
WW US UK EU
Yes, but I would already wait a bit to make sure it is completely safe. 45 40 47 47
Yes, as soon as I can 30 37 30 28
No 25 23 23 25
100 100 100 100

*The survey was filled through online forms between February 1-12, 2021.
**For updated COVID-19 information you can check the official WHO data.

Check out the July survey report.
Check out the May survey report.
Check out the April survey report.
Check out the March survey report.
Check out the October survey report. 
Read this article about coronavirus precautions and practical information to follow in the biggest cities.