Skift Take

U.S. travel rate dipped to 21 percent in January, marking the second worst month since the pandemic started. But Americans are hopeful for a better 2021 ahead and travel companies need to be prepared.

January marked the second darkest month for the U.S. travel industry since the pandemic started. Only 21 percent of Americans travelled in January 2021, according to Skift Research’s latest U.S. Travel Tracker survey. That is barely two percentage points higher than April 2020, the worst month in modern travel history.

However, with the encouraging news on deep new virus case declines and faster vaccine rollouts, American consumers’ confidence of a better 2021 continues to reign. Of the Americans we surveyed in early February, 72 percent said they would definitely or likely travel in 2021, two percentage points higher than in early January.

We added two new questions on remote work status and its impact on travel and mobility in our January tracker. Forty-five percent of the surveyed Americans in the workforce are currently working remotely and many have taken trips and intend to take more trips because of the work-anywhere flexibility.

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 January 2021 report, we highlight new and ongoing trends in travel incidences, consumer sentiments and future travel intents in the pandemic world, distilled from our January Travel Tracker survey.

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What You’ll Learn From This Report

  • Travel incidences, January 2020– January 2021
  • January travel highlights
  • Covid-19 impacted travel, August 2020–January 2021
  • Changing consumer sentiments on the economic outlook, September 2020–February 2021
  • Consumer intent on 2021 travel
  • Remote work trend and its impact on travel and mobility

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