Safe Travels On The Cards For Many Americans

Safe Travels On The Cards For Many Americans

Many Americans are planning to travel this summer, which is another encouraging sign that we are putting the pandemic's dark days behind us.

Anjali Krishnan
Anjali Krishnan

Looking at the late May TIPP Poll data, one can be cautiously optimistic about America’s summer plans. With about forty percent of the population fully vaccinated and easing travel & business restrictions, we found that many have plans to travel for the summer. However, quite a few are still reluctant to do so.

Overview  

  • 74% are not avoiding travel
  • 40% have summer travel plan
  • 26% are avoiding travel due to Covid-19 concerns

Here’s a look at who’s going, who’s staying, and how they plan to get to their destinations.

The TIPP Poll asked over 1300 Americans, “Thinking about travel, have you restricted or avoided making travel plans this summer because of Covid-19?

  • 74% - not avoiding
  • 26% - avoiding travel due to Covid- 19

Among the three-quarters of the respondents who have not let the pandemic completely derail their travel plans, many are cautious. They said,

  • 31% - had restricted travel plans
  • 43% - were not impacted by Covid-19

Just over a quarter of the participants were completely avoiding traveling this summer due to the ongoing pandemic. No single demographic based on age, gender, race, income, or political leanings significantly stood out among those avoiding travel.

Yet, the data is fascinating as it is approximately the same as figures for anti-vaxxers in the country. The same TIPP Poll shows,

  • 10% no plans to get vaccinated soon
  • 16% no plans to get COVID vaccine at all

Summer Plans

Travel and tourism is a sector that is likely to experience a paradigm shift owing to the pandemic.

According to the AAA and other travel associations, about half of Americans traveled during the summer of 2019. With the entire world affected by the Coronavirus, it is likely to take a long time before travel, vacations, and tourist activities go back to pre-pandemic levels.

Asked, “Do you plan to travel between June through August for either business or vacation purposes?”

Forty percent answered in the affirmative; 26% had no plans, and a further 26% were avoiding travel due to the pandemic.

  • 40% - plans to travel
  • 26% - avoiding travel due to Covid-19
  • 26% - no plans
  • 8% - not sure

Of the forty percent who have travel plans, the break up shows,

  • 26% - for vacation
  • 6% - for business
  • 9% - business + vacation

The enthusiasm for vacation travel is a good sign for the industry that employed close to 16 million people in 2018.  According to the U.S. travel association 2.7% of the U.S. gross domestic product is attributed to the travel and tourism industry. It is estimated that Americans spent a little over $101 billion on summer vacations before the unprecedented health crisis arose.

Travel Options

The shift mentioned above in the travel and tourism sector is already being seen on the ground. ‘Explore your backyard’ seems to be the new mantra for the travel industry across the globe. This is especially favorable for the American tourism industry that relies heavily on domestic tourists.

Most are picking destinations closer to home or within driving distance. Attempts to avoid crowds and maintain social distancing will popularize the less explored and exploited destinations in the coming months.

The TIPP Poll asked, “Which of the following modes will you use to get to your destination?”

The survey participants chose -

  • 75% - car
  • 42% - plane
  • 12% - train
  • 10% - bus
  • 6% - ferry/boat
  • 2% - other means

It may be quite a while before air travel soars to its pre-pandemic heights. Simultaneously, the private plane charter business is experiencing a boom. Recreational vehicles and campers are also gaining in popularity.

Such trends may outlive the pandemic and become popular modes of vacation travel in the years to come.

Around the corner

The vacation industry suffered massive losses as a result of pandemic-induced travel restrictions and reduced socialization. The industry is gearing up to recoup some of the losses as places and travel open up.

Long-term rentals, remote locations, independent villas, smaller properties, vaccine mandates – these are some of the options the big and small players in the tourism sector are exploring. As the summer unfolds, we’ll witness a sneak peek into what vacations and travel may look like in the coming years.


TIPP Takes

Japan And Australia Stress Importance Of 'Peace And stability' In Taiwan Strait For First Time

  • Japan and Australia affirmed the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait while agreeing to deepen bilateral security cooperation amid China's rising assertiveness in regional waters.
  • Tokyo and Canberra also confirmed at the virtual security talks that the Self-Defense Forces [SDF] would protect Australian military assets in non-combat situations, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said.
  • In a joint statement issued after the ninth "two-plus-two" bilateral talks, Japan and Australia's foreign and defense ministers said for the first time they "underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues."
  • Canberra became the second country after the United States, whose assets Tokyo is allowed to protect under Japanese security legislation that came into force in 2016.
  • Kishi said the SDF would provide protection when Australia gathers information on ballistic missiles, holds joint drills to improve its defense capability for Japan, and engages in transportation and supply activities during a crisis that could greatly affect Japan's security.
  • China urged all sides to stop interfering in its internal affairs and stop sabotaging regional peace and stability, said a ministry spokesman.

Olympics: India Drops Chinese Kit Sponsor Ahead Of Tokyo Games

  • India’s Olympics body says the decision is linked to public sentiment following last year’s border clashes between the two nations.
  • The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has dropped Chinese sportswear maker Li-Ning as its official kit partner citing public sentiment in the country and saying its athletes will wear unbranded apparel at the Tokyo Games instead.
  • Chinese companies have faced a backlash in India since 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with Chinese forces in a Himalayan border dispute last year.
  • IOA unveiled an Olympic kit six days ago but said it had ended the association out of respect for the “sentiments of the people of the country.” The IOA said it did not want the issue of who made the uniforms to be a distraction.
  • The IOA is racing to find a new sponsor.

Doctors Without Borders Ordered To Stop Work In Myanmar City

  • An international medical charity warned of "life-threatening" consequences for thousands of HIV and tuberculosis patients in Myanmar after it was ordered by the junta to stop work in a southern city.
  • Almost all public hospitals remain closed following the country's February coup, with many doctors joining a huge civil strike, leaving the healthcare system incapacitated.
  • MSF [aka Doctors Without Borders] added it had reached out to authorities to "understand" the decision. It said it would impact 2,162 people living with HIV and receiving antiretroviral treatment in the city.
  • The charity also warned of the risk of further disease transmission, including tuberculosis, as it has been filling gaps in the nation's faltering TB program since February.
  • The Red Cross said it was urgently ramping up efforts to meet the humanitarian needs of 236,000 people in Myanmar, which was already reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic before the coup struck.

The Powerful New Use For Cocoa

  • The world's largest producer of cocoa, the Ivory Coast, has found an inventive use for the cocoa plant that could power millions of homes.
  • More than 40% of all cocoa beans originate in the West African country. With more than six million people working in cocoa in the country, it is Ivory Coast's largest export by far.
  • The bean shells, pod husks, and cocoa sweatings (a pale yellowish liquid that drains away during fermentation) are usually thrown away. Worldwide, the volume of cocoa waste is steadily growing.
  • This waste is now set to become a significant part of the Ivory Coast's transition to renewable energy.
  • The Ivory Coast has begun work on a biomass plant which will run on cocoa waste. The facility will be located in Divo, a town that produces a large share of the country's cocoa.
  • The biomass plant will burn cocoa plant matter left over after cocoa production to turn a turbine and generate electricity, much like a conventional fossil-fuel power plant.
  • "This plant alone will be able to meet the electricity needs of 1.7 million people," said the managing director of the Ivorian company Société des Energies Nouvelles (Soden), which is involved in building the plant.

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