U.S. leisure travelers plan to significantly pare back travel plans amid rising COVID-19 cases, according to a new national survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).
The survey revealed 69 percent planning to take fewer trips, while 55 percent planning to postpone existing travel plans. Additionally, 42 percent are likely to cancel existing plans without rescheduling.
The survey also revealed that nearly three in four (72 percent) are likely to only travel to places within driving distance.
“With COVID-19 cases rising and travel concerns mounting as we enter the fall and winter months, the hotel industry is at a pivotal point. Unless Congress acts, pandemic-related travel reductions will continue to threaten the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of hotel workers,” Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, said in a news release. “For over a year, hotel employees and small business owners across the nation have been asking Congress for direct pandemic relief. This data underscores why it’s time for Congress to act.”
More than one in five hotel jobs lost during the pandemic — nearly 500,000 in total — will not have returned by the end of this year, according to an AHLA news release. For every 10 people directly employed on a hotel property, hotels support an additional 26 jobs in the community, from restaurants and retail to hotel supply companies — meaning an additional nearly 1.3 million hotel-supported jobs are also at risk, AHLA said.
The survey of 2,200 adults was conducted August 11-12, 2021. Of these, 1,707 people, or 78% of respondents, are leisure travelers—that is, those who indicated they may travel for leisure in 2021.