MMGY: Although Uncertain, Americans Becoming More Confident in Travel

Most Americans feel unsafe when it comes to travel—both domestically and internationally. That’s according to MMGY Global, which just launched its new Travel Safety Barometer, a sentiment-tracking tool created for the travel and tourism industry to monitor American travelers’ perceptions of how safe it is to engage in specific travel behaviors as the country embarks on its reopening and recovery efforts.

The barometer aims to be an informational resource for both business and leisure travelers and the industry as coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to change all aspects of society, including when, where and how we feel comfortable traveling. The MMGY Global Travel Safety Barometer measures Americans’ perceptions of safety on a scale from 0 (extremely unsafe) to 100 (extremely safe). It is based on a nationally representative survey of all active travelers in the country. Barometer metrics are published for both domestic and international travel, as well as category-specific metrics for transportation, lodging, cruising, dining and entertainment.

All data from the most recent polling (May 6) is pointing to domestic leisure travel within the U.S. recovering before business and international travel. With that said, confidence isn’t very high for either market. Domestic travel safety scores low at 34 (up from 30 on April 22), while international travel earns a score of an even lower 22 (up 2 from April 22).

As for mode of transportation, most Americans feel safest traveling by personal car (a score of 72 versus 30 for a domestic flight and 27 for train travel). Outdoor activities are perceived as safer, with going to a park (49) and going to the beach (41) as the best scoring activities. Other options included attending an outdoor sporting event (28), attending an outdoor concert/festival (26), visiting a bar/restaurant (27), visiting a theme park (23) and attending a theatrical performance or movie (23).

The cruise industry seems to face an even steeper hill, reporting just a score of 18 on the barometer. Since March 25, the rating for cruise travel has bounced between 14 and 18.

The Travel Safety Barometer survey is conducted monthly among 1,200 U.S. residents who have taken an overnight trip for either business or leisure in the past 12 months. 

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