Survey Finds Hesitancy to Travel for Business and Pleasure

NEW YORK—With the official start of the summer season just a few weeks away, many of us are asking the same question: When will we be ready to travel again?

Even though many states have relaxed their stay-at-home rules, the general population does not think that it will be traveling for leisure or business in great numbers any time soon.

Just under one-half (47 percent) of the respondents to a Harris Poll survey said they think that they will be traveling for leisure in 2020 and half (51 percent) of the respondents who have recently traveled for business think they will be traveling again for work this year, according to the findings of The Harris Poll survey

About 1 in 5 respondents (22 percent) expect to travel for leisure during the summer and another one-quarter (25 percent) may be thinking of traveling in the fall. The desire to reconnect with family and friends (52 percent) and the need for a change of scenery (45 percent) will motivate leisure travel in 2020, according to The Harris Poll analysis of the responses.

While U.S. residents remain fairly cautious in their expectation for vacation travel, those who are employed and who travel for business purposes are more optimistic about business travel. Over half of all those who have traveled for business purposes (51 percent) expect to travel again in 2020.

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

The key takeaway, according to The Harris Poll is that while business traveling may recover somewhat more quickly than leisure, “the [travel] industry should focus on the benefits of travel to help connect individuals and to provide a change of scenery from the groundhog day feeling sheltering in place has created.”

This Harris Poll survey was conducted online from May 20-22 among a nationally representative sample of 2,032 U.S. adults.

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