Published July 9, 2020
Jerry Henry, CEO H2R Market Research
The rising number of new COVID-19 cases has caused some consumer trepidation, and those concerns continue to push back travel intentions. Intent to travel in 2020 fell a significant seven points from levels recorded in mid-June, now down 16 points from results in early June.
Likewise, fewer consumers say they will travel this summer (-11 points from early June) or any time in 2021 (-11 points from early June). It is safe to say there is an inverse relationship between the number of new COVID-19 cases being reported and consumers’ appetite for travel.
Consumers have a comparatively pessimistic view of the next 12 months. Six in ten (61%) believe there will be a second wave of the virus, 44% expect another government lockdown and 38% fear we may see a global depression. Fewer than half (44%) expect a vaccine will be found and proven safe.
Consumers also feel less safe welcoming visitors back to their community. This metric has plummeted from 39% recorded in early June down to only 22% this week.
Intent to visit attractions has also steadily declined since early June, with the average falling from 23% to 16% this week. Outdoor attractions remain the most appealing, with consumers indicating they are most likely to visit national/state parks (24%), followed by zoos/animal attractions (19%).
Nonetheless, Early Adopters are still venturing out at the same level as they have been over the past month (15%). This week, those who have visited an attraction since restrictions were initially lifted were far more likely to believe the attraction’s environment made them feel safe and confident (+16 points from last wave). This boost helped move H2R’s COVID Confidence Index up to 40.8 from 38.4 in mid-June. Those under the age of 50 years continue to exhibit a much higher CCI (48.6) than those over 50 years of age (31.3).
Once again, mask wearing is slowly becoming a more common phenomena as an increasing number say they are willing to consider wearing masks when out and about. Nearly 70% will bring their own mask to wear to attractions, stores, etc. And, fewer consumers see being made to wear a mask as a barrier to visiting attractions or traveling, down to 11% from 24% in early June.
Masks are the only barrier to see any significant change week over week. The other barriers, such as concern over large crowds and the fear of being exposed to COVID, have stayed level. These issues remain clear and present deterrents to leisure travel in the near-term.
But perhaps the biggest challenge lurking behind the physical dangers of COVID-19 is consumer concern for the economy. Six in ten say their confidence in the U.S. economy has either declined or significantly worsened compared to a year ago. That alone may be enough to put the brakes on leisure travel and attractions visits too.
The silver lining, if there is one, is that outlook varies greatly by traveler category. Those who have ventured out are much more optimistic than those who may not be ready to travel for a prolonged length of time.
H2R is providing a discount on consumer profiles by traveler category to help destinations and attractions target Early Adopters. Learn more here.
This data reflects the third wave of H2R’s COVID-19 Travel & Attractions Update: Rebuild Edition conducted the week of July 6, 2020, from a nationwide, professionally managed panel of consumers. 300 responses were collected for this wave, providing for a maximum margin of error of +/-5.7%. No part of this publication may be reproduced, published or transmitted in any form by any means outside of the subscriber's organization without permission from H2R Market Research. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
H2R has measured consumer sentiment by attraction type since March.
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