It’s expected that traveler safety concerns will diminish considerably after spring 2021 when more COVID-19 vaccines are distributed and more borders are reopened, according to an international survey of more than 2,100 members of leading travel risk and crisis response provider Global Rescue.
The survey found that roughly three out of four respondents (77 percent) are less or much less concerned about travel safety for the second half of 2021 (July to December) compared to last year. However, more than half of respondents (54 percent) indicated that they are more or much more concerned about travel safety between now and June compared to 2020.
According to Global Rescue’s research, a majority of respondents (70 percent) plan to take their next overnight/multi-day domestic trip greater than 100 miles from home by June 2021 while one in four is waiting until the last half of the year. A small portion, just 5 percent expect to wait until 2022 or later.
Receiving a COVID-19 vaccination (47 percent) and open borders (34 percent) are the two most important conditions travelers need to feel safe enough to travel internationally, the study found. Meanwhile, potential quarantines (41 percent) and COVID-19 infection (29 percent) continue to be the leading concerns for travelers planning an international trip amid the pandemic. Twelve percent of surveyed travelers listed trip cancellation as their biggest fear regarding international travel right now.
“Traveler confidence is growing stronger and that’s good news for the travel industry,” Global Rescue CEO Dan Richards said in a statement. “Travelers will feel safe enough to plan trips and vacations when they are vaccinated, when borders are open and managed predictably and when they know they’ll be able to get home if the worst happens.”
Nearly three-quarters of survey respondents (73 percent) indicated that they would feel safer traveling if they had a COVID-19 vaccine compared to only 36 percent who said they would feel safer if they had a negative COVID-19 PCR test result before their trip. “Traveler trust in the efficacy of a COVID-19 vaccination understandably surpasses that of a negative coronavirus test since the former prevents against an occurrence and the latter only detects if an individual has been infected by the virus,” Richards added.
When it comes to navigating today’s COVID-19 testing requirements for select destinations, travelers are split in terms of how they would find a testing facility. Tour operators (21 percent), travel advisors (21 percent), destination resources (18 percent), personal investigation (16 percent) and insurance providers (9 percent) are the top resources while 15 percent of respondents indicated that they’re unsure what they would do.
Interestingly, fewer than 4 percent of respondents said that receiving negative COVID-19 PCR test results, having access to coronavirus treatments or acquiring a digital health passport were conditions needed to make them feel safe enough to travel abroad.