The argument against: When will we travel again?

Even though a number of states are starting to relax some stay at home rules, the US general public does not think that it will be traveling for leisure or business in great numbers any time soon. Just under half (47%) think that they will be traveling for leisure in 2020 and half of the business travelers (51%) think they will be traveling for work. 

  • About 1 in 5 (22%) expect to travel for leisure during the summer and another quarter (25%) may be thinking of traveling in the fall. The desire to reconnect with family and friends (52%) and the need for a change of scenery (45%) will motivate leisure travel in 2020.

While the US public remains fairly cautious in its expectation for vacation travel, those who are employed and who travel for business purposes are more optimistic. Over half of all those who have traveled for business purposes (51%) expect to travel in 2020.  

  • And among those who are more frequent travelers, 6 in 10 (59%) expect to return to traveling in 2020. 
  • Another 4 in 10 of all business travelers (38%) will hit the road in 2021 with over a third (35%) of frequent business travelers expecting this. 
  • Few (11%) think that business traveling will wait until 2022 or later.

Takeaway: While business traveling may recover somewhat more quickly than leisure, the industry should focus on the benefits of travel to help connect individuals and provide a change of scenery from the groundhog day feeling sheltering in place has created. 

Methodology
This survey (Wave 13) was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from May 20 – 22 among a nationally representative sample of 2,032 U.S. adults.