PETER CRANIS: Longwood’s Travel Sentiment Study Provides Good Indicators On Consumer Travel Plans
By Peter Cranis, Space Coast Office of Tourism Executive Director // August 27, 2023
bodes well for late summer and into fall
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – I was looking at the most recent wave of the Longwood’s Travel Sentiment Study. This is the 76th wave the study has been done since COVID hit in 2020 and was fielded July 19.
It gives some very good indicators on where the consumer’s heads are in terms of travel. 89% of consumers are planning to travel in the next six months which is only down a few points from the last wave which was done at the end of May.
Considering consumers were in the middle of summer when they answered, this bodes well for late summer and into fall.
Concern about COVID has dropped down to the 10% range and concern about finances is 21% which was down slightly from the last wave, which is amazing considering all the negative press about the economy the last few months – it hit a high of 30% in January and has been dropping pretty steadily ever since.
Concern about transportation costs also dropped a little from 20% down to 18% of consumers saying they were concerned. That was as high as 27% in March. And only 20% indicated gas prices would greatly impact their decision to travel.
Inflation has also declined in terms of concern with numbers being much lower than first quarter which were between 29-32% while the last few months have been between 23-24%. While COVID hasn’t dropped completely off the radar, it is at a much lower rate of concern (30-32%) versus earlier in the year when it was in the 40s.
Also, 16% of people said they were going to fly domestically vs. internationally the next six months and 14% of people said they will drive. 14% said they are reducing the number of trips they are taking and only 4% said they were cancelling trips. In fact 59% of people said COVID is not impacting their travel plans which is the highest this has been in the last year and a half.
Interestingly, 42% of people found travel ads to be influential or very influential on people’s desire to move to those destinations. In fact, 31% of people have moved in the last 3 years and 21% visited that destination prior to moving. Also, 17% of people plan to boycott a destination due to governmental or societal issues.
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– Peter Cranis, Space Coast Office of Tourism Executive Director