Travelers who are eager to get out and explore once again are ready to pay for mandatory COVID-19 protection in order to ensure their safety.
Global Rescue surveyed current and former members and found that a large majority (60 percent) would be willing to pay between $50 and $100 for screening and testing services to minimize the effects of COVID-19.
Travelers are also willing to pay for mitigation and remediation in case of infection, including provisions for isolation accommodations, quarantine facilities and ground or air transport.
“The pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll on the world’s population and its economies. Covid-19 understandably tops the list of all traveler concerns. But the survey results send a clear message that travelers are eager to fight back with an overwhelming willingness for comprehensive, mandatory Covid-19 protections for themselves and all travelers. And they are willing to pay for it,” said Global Rescue CEO Dan Richards.
Overwhelmingly, travelers say that they would feel safer with services and protections that cover pre- and on-trip COVID-19 testing, required quarantines, evacuation costs and door-to-door trip insurance.
“The majority (91 percent) of responding travelers were equally adamant in their support for mandating all travelers obtain the same Covid-19 protections for their personal safety, the safety of others, and to prevent adverse selection,” Richards said.
There is also overwhelming support for government regulation of these procedures.
“Eighty-eight percent of travelers want governments or organizations to step in and systematize programs calculated to beat Covid-19,” noted Richards. “But not every government or organization has the resources or the expertise to provide screening, testing, triage, quarantine facilities, ground and air transport, data collection and case management.”
Richards’ organization has developed a comprehensive program that can be implemented by a variety of governments and organizations.
“At the onset of the pandemic, Global Rescue recognized the threat and developed a new services program designed to defeat the threat of Covid-19 on behalf of governments and organizations,” said Global Rescue vice president of operations Scott Hume.
Global Rescue can provide emergency action planning, training and staffing as well as testing and tracing services. It can also supply response and remediation in case of an outbreak, including quarantine and isolation accommodations, management of ground and air medical evacuation, treatment and more.
“Testing for active Covid-19 infection is a key part of the public health response to bring this pandemic under control,” said Global Rescue medical director Claudia Zegans. “Travelers are right to recognize this fact, and to want access to reliable testing with results that come back in a timely manner to facilitate safe travel for themselves and others.”
While the survey found that travelers would be willing to pay for safety precautions related to COVID-19 in order to travel again, it also found a number of other factors weighed on travelers.
In order to feel safe traveling internationally and domestically, many said they would wait until lockdowns were removed by the government. Forty-six said this regarding domestic travel, and 68 percent indicated this was true of traveling internationally.
Forty-one percent said that they would wait for a vaccine to travel again domestically, and 50 percent said the same for international travel.
Twenty-eight percent said that they would wait for a COVID-19 treatment to travel domestically, and 35 percent would wait for treatment to travel internationally.
When it is safe to travel again, travelers do intend to get out and explore and make up for lost time. Fifty-two percent expect to travel internationally where possible, and 35 percent plan to go to more remote, less crowded destinations.
However, some people are curbing their exploits or plan to stay closer to home.
Thirty-two anticipate taking fewer trips, and 22 percent said they’ll only travel domestically.
Some (22 percent) will take longer trips when travel reopens on a large scale, and 18 percent plan on taking an extra trip.
Twenty percent of travelers are looking to take advantage of discounts, deals and specials. Five percent said that they would look into taking a less expensive trip.
One key thing that some travelers will look for is healthcare in a destination. Thirteen percent responded that they look forward to traveling only to places with modern healthcare facilities.
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