U.S. leisure travellers plan reduce trips amid COVID-19 escalation

Published on : Friday, September 10, 2021

The leisure travellers from United States plan to significantly pare back travel plans amid rising COVID-19 cases, with 69% planning to take fewer trips, 55% planning to postpone existing travel plans, and 42% likely to cancel existing plans without rescheduling.

This research has been done by Morning Consult on behalf of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). Nearly three in four (72%) are likely to only travel to places within driving distance.

While leisure travel historically begins to decline after Labour Day, it remains critical throughout the year. The new survey also highlights the ongoing negative effects of the pandemic on travel and underscores the need for targeted federal relief, such as the Save Hotel Jobs Act.

There are 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.

 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.

The survey of 2,200 adults was conducted August 11-12, 2021. Of these, 1,707 people, or 78% of respondents, are leisure trtravellershat is, those who indicated they may travel for leisure in 2021.

Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA said that 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. 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.

Recently released AHLA survey results show that business travellers are also scaling back their travel plans amid rising COVID-19 cases. That includes 67% planning to take fewer trips, 52% likely to cancel existing travel plans without rescheduling, and 60% planning to postpone existing travel plans.

The hotels are the only segment of the hospitality and leisure industry yet to receive direct aid despite being among the hardest hit. That is why AHLA and UNITE HERE, the largest hospitality workers’ union in North America, joined forces to call on Congress to pass the bipartisan Save Hotel Jobs Act introduced by Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.). This legislation would provide a lifeline to hotel workers, providing the assistance they need to survive until travel returns to pre-pandemic levels.

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