Skift Take

Despite rising Covid-19 cases, 35 percent of Americans traveled in July. But most are not taking their typical summer vacations.

The new, even more severe surge of coronavirus cases across the country didn’t seem to stop Americans from traveling, as the earlier round did. According to Skift Research’s July U.S. Travel Tracker survey, 35 percent of Americans traveled in July, continuing the slow-climbing trend since April.

Certainly, the fact that we all have better knowledge of the virus and are more confident about protecting ourselves against it now plays a big role in it. But this doesn’t mean that the travel sector is well on a track to recovery. Rather, challenges abound in the next few months.

Among all the travel verticals, the situation for the airline sector is particularly dire. While the number of consumers who started to travel has been climbing, they have been mainly taking short driving trips. Air travel hasn’t increased much since April. Air travel rate for personal trips remained at barely 9 percent in July, same as April. For business travel, after a jump in June, air travel slid down to accounting for only 17 percent of all business trips taken in July.

Outside travel, uncertainty about the new round of stimulus relief, the upcoming election, and social and racial justice protests, all seemed to dampen American consumer confidence in the economy. In early August, nearly a quarter of consumers surveyed believed the U.S. economy would be much worse in the next 12 months, five percentage points higher than in early July. At the same time, only 32 percent believed the economy would be better, dropping from 37 percent a month earlier.

Skift Research introduced a monthly U.S. travel tracking survey in January 2020 to examine the travel penetration rates and detailed travel behavior of the U.S. population. In addition to the factual travel occurrences, we also asked respondents their perceptions on the macro-level economic condition as well their personal financial and travel outlook. As we move through different phases of Covid-19, our monthly survey captures the fluctuations of consumer travel behavior and intent in real time.

In our newly released U.S. Travel Tracker July 2020 report, we highlight new and ongoing trends in travel incidences, consumer sentiments and future travel intents in the pandemic world, distilled from our June Travel Tracker survey.

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What You’ll Learn From This Report

  • Travel incidences Jan – July 2020
  • July travel highlights
  • Covid-19 impacted travel Feb – July 2020
  • Changing consumer sentiments on the economic outlook Feb – August 2020
  • Changing consumer intent on future travel April – August 2020

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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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Tags: consumer travel trends, covid-19, skift research, traveltracker

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