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The U.S. travel industry might have reached the rock bottom in April.

In Skift Research’s April travel tracker survey, we found that only 19 percent of Americans traveled in April, down from 25 percent in March and 46 percent in January. And for those who did travel, they were mostly visiting families or staying close to families.

In fact, 42 percent of all overnight stays for April personal travel were at private residences. Skift Research continues our quest to understand where consumers stand in their decisions about travel and what will change when they start to travel again through our monthly travel tracker survey. Our April survey was fielded on May 7–11, when some U.S. states had already reopened for businesses at various levels.

However, we saw some brighter signs of recovery. While travel incidences were still dismal, people were more optimistic of the economic recovery and their personal financial situation in May than in March and April. Surprisingly, more consumers in early May expected their travel spending to increase in the next 12 months than they had anticipated in February, prior to Covid-19 hitting the country. However, is the worst really behind us? With no effective treatment for the virus, now it’s up to the travel industry to up the standards to make sure people can travel safely.

In addition to highlights of April travel, our April Travel Tracker report delves into traveler segments. We ran various analyses to examine how demographic background might shape travel behavior and attitude post Covid-19. Other than age and life stage, we didn’t find significant correlation between other demographic characteristics and post-Covid-19 travel intent. What we did find is a strong association between how Covid-19 impacted a person’s life, real or perceived, and his/her future travel timing and preferences.
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What You’ll Learn From This Report

  • Travel incidences Jan – April 2020
  • Covid-19 impacted travel Feb – April 2020
  • Changing consumer sentiments on the economic outlook Feb – May 2020
  • Changing consumer intent on future travel April – May 2020
  • Impact of Covid-19 on different consumer segments

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This is the latest in a series of monthly reports aimed at analyzing the fault lines of disruption in travel. These reports are intended for the busy travel industry decision-maker. Tap into the opinions and insights of our network of seasoned staffers and contributors. Over 200 hours of desk research, data collection, and/or analysis goes into each report.

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