Travel advisors expect business to drop more than 50% this year
The results of the COVID-19 Sentiment Barometer, an online industry tracking survey designed to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel agencies, were published today.
Survey results indicate that travel agencies have experienced a significant shift in client inquiries from international destinations to domestic destinations in the U.S. and Canada. In recent weeks, 40% of all travel advisor inquiries are about travel to U.S. destinations, more than doubling the proportion of domestic inquiries as compared to levels prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Key findings from Wave 1 of the Barometer, which surveyed more than 300 travel advisors in the U.S. and Canada from June 1–10, 2020, include:
- Nine in 10 advisors anticipate business will be down more than 50% this year, even as they are starting to see interest in domestic travel rising.
- Travel advisors reported that cruising inquiries currently account for just 22% of all client inquiries, which is down from 32% prior to COVID-19.
- Most travel advisors are currently booking vacations seven months or more in the future. The booking window is shortest for North American vacations and increases for international travel, cruises and group tour vacations.
- Travel advisors report that outdoor vacations are of most interest to clients, specifically to North American beach and mountain destinations.
- Compared to the time prior to COVID-19, travelers appear to be more interested in staying in small, boutique hotels and private villas/cabins and less interested in staying in large/resort hotels and short-term rentals.
- Travel advisors are just as likely to trust travel trade media (68%) as they are the CDC (67%) for information about the impact of COVID-19 and about destination information overall.