Home is where the heart and tourism dollars are.
The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the travel industry, but many quarantine-fatigued Americans are cautiously beginning to travel again — though only within the country’s borders.
A recent survey of 4,300 Allianz Travel customers found that US travelers are beginning to spend money on overnight trips again, but are sticking to domestic locales, hotels and resorts.
Only 22% of Allianz’s Single Trip online travel insurance quotes were used for domestic destinations in the first quarter of 2020. In the second quarter, that number increased at a rate of 93%, with 42% of quotes being used for US travel.
Indeed, the majority (59%) of respondents said they’re only looking stateside for their next trip — and that’s not in an effort to avoid air travel. More than half (54%) said they planned to fly, while 42% said they’d drive.
Community is not the reason for the huge shift in destination preference, though. Just 27% of those surveyed said they were opting to stay with family or friends, and only 11% planned to book a short-term rental. Nearly half (47%) aimed to stay at hotels.
In addition to not straying too far from home, travelers are paying close attention to safety efforts, with some offering more comfort than others. For half of the respondents, advanced sanitizing was the most reassuring COVID precaution, followed closely by a proven vaccine (49%) and reassurance by health officials that travel is safe (42%).
Compared to the beginning of the year, travel to previously popular European destinations including Italy, France and the United Kingdom has been halved.
Tourism dollar-dependent countries have tried to claw back some of their devastated economies’ cash by offering remote workers perks to come work from paradise. However, some countries have closed their borders, rendering the incentive useless.
For Americans with wanderlust looking for safer alternatives, a new website called WindowSwap offers a safe way to travel from home.