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U.S. Leisure & Business Travel To Slow

A new research study from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) shows worrying signs for the domestic travel industry as both leisure and business travellers intend to change their plans this Fall as the Delta variant continues to spread.

U.S. leisure travelers plan to significantly pare back travel plans amid rising COVID-19 cases, with 69% planning to take fewer trips, 55% planning to postpone existing travel plans, and 42% likely to cancel existing plans without rescheduling, according to a new national survey conducted by Morning Consult.

This research is also bad news for airlines as nearly three in four (72%) are likely to only travel to places within driving distance. 

Key findings among leisure travelers include the following:

•    69% are likely to take fewer trips and 65% are likely to take shorter trips
•    42% are likely to cancel existing travel plans with no plans to reschedule
•    55% are likely to postpone existing travel plans until a later date
•    72% are likely to only travel to places they can drive to
•    70% are likely to travel with smaller groups 

Meanwhile the results for business travellers weren’t more encouraging with 60% saying that they are planning to postpone existing travel plans, 67% now expecting to take fewer trips and 68% confirming that they plan to take shorter trips instead.

“With COVID-19 cases rising and travel concerns mounting as we enter the fall and winter months, the hotel industry is at a pivotal point. Unless Congress acts, pandemic-related travel reductions will continue to threaten the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of hotel workers,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA.