Published on : Tuesday, May 4, 2021
The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) released new findings from surveys of its tour operator Active Members about current passenger booking trends, post-pandemic recovery, and resumption of business. The surveys are a key part of USTOA’s ongoing efforts to support and inform its membership and the industry throughout the coronavirus crisis.
According to the survey, eight out 10 USTOA Active Members are “enthusiastic” to “cautiously optimistic” for a complete resumption of business by the end of 2021: half (49%) are “cautiously optimistic;” 24% are “optimistic,” and roughly 7% are “enthusiastic.” At smaller percentage, 11%, are “not optimistic,” and 9% are feeling “negative.”
Terry Dale, USTOA president and CEO added, “Optimism for recovery even as early as 2021 recovery is high, which is a positive sign for our members and the industry, especially as this survey was conducted just prior to the recent news of a potential return to Europe and US cruising by summer. While our members remain vigilant, given the fluidity of the situation, we suspect this enthusiasm to only strengthen as more progress is made with re-opening strategies.”
Dale continued, “Right now, 56% of our Active Members are currently operating. And reports of customer feedback have been extremely positive, reinforcing the peace of mind our members offer travelers. Tour operators take the guesswork out of travel planning, which will prove to be invaluable as we navigate this tricky and evolving phase of post-pandemic travel.”
Two thirds (64%) of currently operating Active Members reported that customers shared only positive feedback regarding the wellness protocols and reported no negative impact on the overall travel experience. The remaining third (36%) said only a small number of customers reported that the wellness protocols put in place hindered the experience in some way. Of those currently operating, 65% of the operated itineraries were international and 35% were domestic.