As normal life has been upended by the pandemic, so has travel.
We’ve all been instructed to stay put, international borders are closed, and international flights are very limited, but signs that traveling is very much still on the agenda are showing. Airports and airlines are implementing new sanitation measures to restore peace of mind and make people feel comfortable about flying again, destinations like Greece are readying themselves to welcome visitors this summer, and travelers’ desires to explore the world haven’t diminished — if anything, they’ve grown stronger.
Matador Network conducted a survey of 2,179 individuals around the world to gauge their thoughts and behaviors toward travel, and the results are shining a light on the future of the industry.
According to the survey, fewer than three percent of respondents have ruled out traveling in 2020 while 74 percent still view it as a likelihood. The study also found that 89 percent of respondents would feel comfortable traveling for leisure within six months of travel being declared safe. Of that 89 percent, 26 percent plan to start traveling within 30 days of the announcement.
Even travelers with an elevated risk of infection are planning a speedy return to adventure. Sixty-seven percent of travelers surveyed who consider themselves at elevated risk from COVID-19 said they would travel for leisure at the same rate, or even more, than they used to. This is only a slight decrease from non-elevated risk respondents, 71 percent of whom said they would return to their previous travel habits, or travel even more frequently.
These numbers suggest that the travel industry’s resurgence will be fueled by an overwhelming restlessness.
“I wasted time making any serious plans to travel. I believed that I would start my plans to be a world drifter in 2020. Then coronavirus happened and now I have been sitting in quarantine wondering why I wasted so much time. Why I didn’t just get out there and go. Once the dust has settled I don’t plan on dilly dallying.”— 26–34 traveler, living outside of North America
While much depends on safety measures, the opening of domestic and international borders and economies, and the trajectory of the virus itself, travelers don’t plan to waste much time once given the all-clear.
For more of the study’s findings, check out the insight report in full.