New Poll Shows How Long Travelers Need Before Traveling Again

Travel agents wondering how fast people are going to get back to traveling after we “flatten the curve” may find the latest Harris Poll helpful.

The recent national survey asked 2,023 U.S adults several questions over a two-day period between March 21-22, 2020. One of the questions was “How Long Until Americans Return to Normal Activity Once the Virus Flattens?”

One of the most important things to Americans right now is getting back to work.

The Harris Poll found that more than one in five Americans (22 percent) said that, once the government provides information that the spread of the virus is flattening, they would be willing to immediately go to the office.

While there is a push to return to the workforce, other leisure activities, including leisure travel, may take longer.

It doesn’t seem like there will be a mad dash to restaurants or fitness centers. Twenty-eight percent of people said that it would take them between one and 30 days to go to a restaurant and just 17 percent said they would return to the gym at that time.

The poll found that it could take two to three months for Americans to return to attending large social gatherings, the movies or using public transportation.

Nearly a fifth of Americans indicated that they would host/attend a larger
social gathering (22 percent). Twenty-one percent said that they would consider going to the movies after two or three months and a similar number said that they would start shaking hands again.

Twenty percent said that they would stay in a hotel again after about two or three months and 17 percent said they would feel comfortable going to a sporting event.

While the news on the hotel front is encouraging for leisure travel, airlines and hotels face a steeper climb convincing people to return.

Nearly a fifth of respondents to the survey said that it would take them four to six months to fly again.

Cruise companies are going to have to work hard to earn back the public trust. Twenty-two percent of those Americans responding to the survey said that it will take a year or longer before they take a cruise and one in 10 said that they would never cruise again.

Business travelers, however, are more optimistic than leisure travelers. A survey from the Global Business Travel Association, taken during the same time period as the Harris Poll revealed great optimism in the industry. The results found that 40 percent of companies expect business travel to resume in three months’ time. Seventeen percent said that it was more likely to be six months. Just four in 10 said that they didn’t know when travel would resume.

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