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Survey: How Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Americans will Travel in the Months Ahead

Photo source: @MMGY Global

MMGY Travel Intelligence, MMGY Global’s research and insights division, has released the findings from the 2021 “Fall Edition” of its Portrait of American Travelers survey fielded in late July.

The report highlights continuing strength in traveler sentiment, including high expectations for holiday travel.

It also reveals the vast majority of vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are planning trips in the months ahead, but the types of trips they are planning are different.

Americans’ intent to take a vacation over the next three months has increased, with 53 percent of US adults planning to do so – up from 50 percent in April when the “Summer Edition” of the Portrait of American Travelers survey was conducted.

Though intent remains strong, quarter-over-quarter growth is slowing after a strong summer travel season, and the impact of the Delta variant on the travel industry continues to be assessed.

However, 73 percent of US adults intend to take a vacation in the next six months, a figure essentially unchanged from April’s findings of 72 percent.

Differences Between Vaccinated and Unvaccinated Travelers

While more than half (54 percent) of all active leisure travelers have received a Covid-19 vaccine, it is surprising to note that vaccination status had little measurable impact on intentions to travel. In fact, 80 percent of active leisure travelers who are vaccinated plan to take a leisure trip during the next six months, compared to 81 percent of those who do not plan to get vaccinated.

However, the differences are more notable in how people are planning to travel. Significantly more vaccinated travelers are planning to stay in a hotel/resort, travel by personal car, visit friends and family, take a domestic flight and take an international trip over the next six months in comparison to those who do not plan to get vaccinated.

Unvaccinated travelers were slightly more likely to plan travel for a conference or convention (10 percent) than those who are vaccinated (6 percent).

When asked about hypothetical vaccination requirements for both business and leisure travel, a majority of respondents indicated such requirements would impact the likelihood they would choose to travel.

Photo source: @MMGY Global

What will holiday travel look like?

Eager to reunite with friends and family and renew favorite holiday traditions, 42 percent of US adults indicated they plan to travel this year for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.

Younger generations have even stronger intentions to travel, with 61 percent of millennials and 52 percent of Gen Zs planning to pack their bags for at least one of these holidays.

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