The COVID-19 vaccine is predicted to help heal the travel industry this year.
After nearly a year of lockdowns and limits, Americans are ready to vacation. A survey by Vrbo, the vacation rental company, revealed that more than four-fifths have already made travel plans for this year, two-thirds expect to travel more than they did before COVID-19, and nearly one-fourth say they need the break for their own mental health and self-care.
Travel Expected to Reawaken in 2021
The vaccine is the shot in the arm the industry was seeking. With the approval of vaccines, and depending on distribution, is expected to be gearing up domestically in the spring; most international travel is more like to wait until the last half of the year. Cruise ships, which have suffered some outbreaks since they were allowed to operate with limited numbers, are seeing higher bookings for the summer.
A survey by Generali Global Assistance revealed that two-thirds of Americans plan to keep their travel domestic at least until summer, although more than half expect to consider going abroad later in the year. Also, surveys show that destinations tend to be more rural or remote in the early months, with trips to big cities ramping up in the summer. Disney’s parks, with their strict visitor limits and extensive safety protocols, are already attracting bookings for spring. Some observers expect a rapid return to the trip-taking, a release of pent-up demand, while others believe road trips will rise more gradually.
Staying Close to Home Trend Will Continue
“Although most travel will remain closer to home in 2021, that doesn’t mean travelers aren’t having new, exciting adventures where they’re staying,” according to a report from Airbnb. “Guests are expanding their horizons and seeking unique travel experiences….”
The increased freedom to travel as the year moves forward means more than a return to the pre-pandemic normal. Beyond the release of pent-up demand, some enduring changes as a result of COVID-19 will be part of the industry’s future. A vast increase in the number of jobs performed remotely, for example, has opened new markets for “workcations” that are attracting the attention of both rental-home companies () and hotel chains.
Vaccines Good News for Travel Industry
“But the turn is upon us,” Remington Hotels CEO Sloan Dean told USA Today. “By the time the summer solstice is here, America will have had access to several vaccines that are proving to be more than 90% effective. That day will be the longest and brightest of 2021, in more ways than one.”
Learn more about travel and wellness news and trends at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.