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It’s no revelation to say that spring break — typically one of the year’s busiest travel seasons — is going to be different in 2021. But just how different it will be remains to be seen.
And despite nationwide progress on vaccines and recent optimism regarding Americans’ growing intention to travel, a new poll conducted by the U.S. Travel Association (released on March 4) indicates that only 12% of Americans are planning to travel for spring break — down from 16% the week before, when the same question was polled.
Among those who do plan to travel for spring break, the top motivation for doing so was to relax and escape stress (73%). Other factors included spending time with family (71%), escaping boredom (71%), visiting new places (68%) and getting away from daily life (67%).
But the declining intent to travel at a typically busy time of year is a worrying sign for the hard-hit travel industry, which will continue to face uncertainty and see a “long and winding road to recovery,” according to Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, who spoke on a March 4 press call.
What’s more, the latest data underscores the need for aggressive policy action from the government, according to U.S. Travel.
Travel is a central pillar of the U.S. economy, so an overall recovery will only be possible if Washington moves quickly to keep the industry on its feet.
During the press call, Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president of public affairs and policy for U.S. Travel, highlighted requested government steps that will be key for the recovery of travel, including extending the March 31 application deadline for the PPP and providing a third draw loan for the hardest-hit industries, and passing the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act “to accelerate rehiring and drive demand to travel through temporary tax credits.”
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“Travel is a central pillar of the U.S. economy, so an overall recovery will only be possible if Washington moves quickly to keep the industry on its feet,” Dow said in a press release. “A true travel comeback can also only happen once the pandemic is decisively behind us, and we all have an important part to play: Get vaccinated as soon as you can, and don’t become complacent about mask-wearing and other important health practices.”
U.S. Travel is highlighting the importance of those pandemic-era practices by releasing new updates to its “Travel in the New Normal” health and safety guidance, which was first released last May and then updated in November. The document, which was developed based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and consultation from public health experts, was updated to reflect the growing availability of COVID-19 vaccines, and to encourage every American to get vaccinated as soon as they can. The DetailsU.S. Travel Associationwww.ustravel.org