Skift Take

In October, 38 percent of Americans traveled, marking the smallest monthly increase since reaching the low point in April. Will the changing course of the pandemic, with a new president and possible vaccine, give the U.S. travel industry a much-needed boost in the coming months?

The U.S. travel recovery was brought to a halt in October. According to Skift Research’s latest U.S. Travel Tracker survey, 37.8 percent of Americans traveled in October, marking the smallest month-over-month increase since reaching the low point in April.

Air travel is still dismal. Of all the personal trips taken in October, only 6 percent involved flying, down further from 6 percent in September. However, there is some positive sign for the hotel sector. For the first time since the start of the pandemic in March, share of hotel stays went up significantly. Of all the personal travel taken in October, 56 percent had hotel stays, a considerable increase from 48 percent in September. This is only four percentage points lower than January and February, prior to the pandemic.

The share of vacation rentals continued to drop, down from 11 percent in September to 9 percent in October. As we discussed in our September travel tracker report, the overall strong vacation rental market performance is largely driven by demand in rural and secluded vacation destinations and with the drop in visits to those places, the demand will be tampered.

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 October report, we highlight new and ongoing trends in travel incidences, consumer sentiments and future travel intents in the pandemic world, distilled from our October Travel Tracker survey.

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What You’ll Learn From This Report

  • Travel incidences, Jan – Oct 2020
  • October travel highlights
  • Covid-19 impacted travel, Jul – Oct 2020
  • Changing consumer sentiments on the economic outlook, Jul – Nov 2020
  • Changing consumer intent on future travel, Jul – Nov 2020

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This is the latest in a series of reports and data products that Skift Research puts out to help you analyze the impact of the coronavirus on the travel industry. Tap into the opinions and insights of our seasoned network of staffers and contributors. Over 200 hours of desk research, data collection, and/or analysis goes into each report.

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Tags: 2020 travel trends, consumer behavior, consumer sentiment, covid-19, skift research, traveltracker

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