Vaccinated people more likely to travel — and spend more

Covid-19 vaccine rollouts around the world are moving the needle for travel demand, according to new Tripadvisor research.

Analyzing results from an online consumer survey conducted in April and traffic data from the Tripadvisor platform in May, Tripadvisor said vaccine rollouts are driving demand for summer vacations. Additionally, Tripadvisor found that vaccinated travelers are more likely to spend more on trips and stay longer.

“After such a turbulent year, many in tourism are hopeful that a busy summer will provide a much-needed boost to the tourism industry, so it’s welcome news to see the latest traveler data pointing in that direction, especially for destinations and hospitality businesses that are able to capture the growing demand for domestic vacations,” Tripadvisor head of market research Christopher Hsi said in a statement. “What offers even greater hope for a long-term recovery is the impact the vaccine is having not just on people’s confidence to travel, but also their willingness to turn planning into bookings.”

In countries like the U.S. where the vaccine rollout is more advanced, travel is more in demand. Just over half (52%) of U.S. respondents plan on taking a summer vacation, with 22% headed to a destination abroad. In the first week of May, hotel search volume was higher than at any stage of the pandemic.

When asked to describe their attitude around traveling this year compared to pre-pandemic, 30% of travelers worldwide said they were “more determined than ever to travel this year.” Thirty-seven percent said they “want to travel as much as I did before,” while the remaining 33% said they are “more cautious about traveling this year.”

Tripadvisor found U.S. respondents were the most determined to travel. Nearly half (45%) said they are “more determined than ever to travel this year.” At the other end of the spectrum, 50% of Japanese travelers said they are “more cautious about traveling this year.”

Vaccinated travelers are behind increased demand for travel. According to Tripadvisor, 32% of vaccinated travelers globally had booked a domestic vacation. Of that group, 80% said the vaccine had been a factor in their decision to book travel. Only 19% of unvaccinated travelers had booked a domestic trip.

Nearly half (48%) of respondents who had not yet been vaccinated but were planning trips said they were waiting for at least one dose before booking travel.

For near-term bookings, domestic destinations are leading. Most searches for June, July and August are for domestic destinations. But for travel starting in November 2021 and onward, international hotel searches comprise the majority of trips planned.

Vaccinated travelers worldwide also want to stay longer and spend more. Twenty-two percent 22% of all respondents want to take longer trips than they would have pre-pandemic, but that number rises to 30% of vaccinated respondents.

In the U.S., 40% of travelers plan to spend more on their next trip.

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