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THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE

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US Travel Vacation

Americans Plan 2020 Summer Staycations

Recent surveys indicate that most Americans are planning to stay in the US for vacation this year, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues

Published on July 23, 2020

Recent surveys have indicated that 2020 could be the Summer of the Staycation, with Americans in the US and Brits in the UK opting for vacations in their country of residence rather than venturing overseas.

The Picture in America

Data from travel planning website Trivago showed that in April 2020, searches from the US for vacations fell by a massive 90% as lockdowns became the norm. As of mid-June, searches for accomodation were at 39% of the volume seem in January 2020, indicating cautious planning for a summer getaway. Before the pandemic, the top international destinations by searches and click-outs from Americans were the UK, France and Spain. In the first week of July, this was very different, with the top five international destinations being much closer to home, including Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Canada, Puerto Rica and Cuba.

Commenting on Trivago's findings, the firm's CEO Axel Hefer said "Demand for locations that are familiar and closer to home are on the rise. This trend will likely continue post-pandemic. Outside of travel restrictions, regional travel offers more control at an affordable price, while still providing a chance to get away. Because restrictions still vary based on jurisdiction, it makes sense that we see an increase in intra-state travel".

The increase in intra-state travel was highlighted by The Future of Travel survey published this week by Generali Global Assistance (GGA). The survey, conducted by Ipsos, found that "Americans are opting to take domestic road trips over a long weekend to more isolated destinations this summer", with only 5% indicating they would take a trip outside of the United States. However, 73% of respondents did plan to take some type of vacation, with 47% saying they would be traveling domestically during the summer.

The Future of Travel survey also reported a return to the great American road trip, with 72% indicating that they'd travel by car to reach their destination this summer, compared to only 23% of US travelers saying they'd travel by plane. Just 9% said they'd use a rental car.

The reasons for taking a vacation were also analyzed by The Future of Travel survey, with 32% of travelers planning "to visit friends and family after a long period of self-isolation", 22% wanting "to take a well-deserved beach holiday", and 15% opting for a "quiet trip to the countryside."

Chris Carnicelli, CEO of GGA, said that the survey "found that travelers want to enjoy the summer weather and take a break from the monotonous quarantine lifestyle, all while making sure to avoid Covid-19. Forty-eight percent of Vacationers indicated they would rent a house or go camping within driving distance, allowing them to remain secluded during transit and avoid the crowds of unknown people found at hotels and resorts." However, in a word of caution, Carnicelli noted that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration "has also predicted a particularly active Hurricane season, calling for between 13 and 19 named storms, which means if you're looking to do a quarantine beach getaway this summer, you may want to consider some additional protection."

UK Staycations on the Agenda

Brits are just as uncomfortable with plane travel, according to YouGov. A recent YouGov poll found that almost two thirds (64%) of the UK public would not feel safe traveling by plane. Brits aged 65 and over are among the most concerned, with 75% of this demographic indicating unease at air travel.

According to the YouGov study, only 17% of UK respondents planned to travel abroad, although 45% expected to travel in the UK during the Summer.

In another study, YouGov also found that 53% of Britons would not consider travel to the US due to Covid-19. Conversely, 38% of Americans said they would not travel to the UK due to the outbreak.

How are locals perceiving international tourism?

Another study by YouGov also found some interesting data on the perceptions of international travel. The firm asked UK respondents if they would support or oppose visitors from other countries, "assuming they were not required to self-isolate". Whilst there was general unease about international tourism from Europe, there was a notable opposition to travel from America and China, with 72% opposing tourists from China and 76% opposing inbound tourism from the US.

This trend continues across Europe, with respondents in France, Germany, Spain and Italy primarily opposed to inbound tourism from China and the US. However, the UK also stands out, as the third most opposed nation for inbound tourism among those 4 countries.

Interestingly, in the US, less than 50% opposed inbound tourism from specific European countries, compared to 63% who opposed tourism from China.

Wherever you're traveling this Summer - whether it's at home or abroad, stay safe and be aware of the latest travel rules.

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