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According to the latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers, the emergence of the Omicron variant and the overall rise in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across the U.S. has some travelers re-thinking their holiday travel planning. While over a third of travelers are still planning to hit the road in December, about a quarter are delaying trips until after the first of the year.
Among those who are still traveling over the holidays, two-thirds intend to visit friends and relative, while six in ten will go shopping and almost half are looking forward to seeing holiday lights.
“Concerns about the spread of both the Delta and Omicron variants is setting off alarm bells for the travel industry,” said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. “Some travelers are hesitant regarding trip planning as they wait for updated information on the state of the pandemic and the effectiveness of vaccines, boosters, and treatments for new strains like Omicron.”
Working remotely and other changes in work patterns also are impacting the travel industry. Three in ten American travelers intend to work at least one week remotely away from home in the next 12 – 24 months. The percentage of American travelers who intended to move long term or permanently to a new home and work remotely has remained steady since May, at less than 1 in 10 travelers.
The survey, supported by Miles Partnership, was fielded December 8, 2021 using a national sample randomly drawn from a consumer panel of 1,000 adults, ages 18 and over. Quotas were used to match Census targets for age, gender, and region to make the survey representative of the U. S. population.