travel

Travelers are venturing out again but avoiding planes, international trips: survey

8 Comments
By Jane Ross

Travelers are hitting the road again and taking vacations even as the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of abating in many countries, a survey this week showed.

About 51% of people in North America and Latin America plan to book trips in the next six months, compared with 38% in Asia and Europe, according to the survey by software maker Oracle Corp.

However, travelers want to stay close to home, preferring to drive and to avoid international trips.

Due to travel restrictions and lengthy lockdowns in many countries to control the spread of the novel coronavirus, tens of thousands of hotels have closed and occupancy levels have fallen below 20% for weeks, said Alex Alt, general manager of Oracle Hospitality.

"One thing that's refreshing is that consumers want to travel," he told Reuters. "There is a resilience and an appetite to be on the road, to explore, to experience."

With U.S. coastal towns a favorite destination, occupancy among 600 U.S. hotels that Oracle tracks has risen for five straight weeks and recently hit its highest levels since mid-March.

"I'd say the industry largely expects it to continue through the summer months," Alt said. "The key will be for the business travel to come back to complement that leisure travel."

COVID-19 cases have surged around the United States and the death toll has topped 130,000, prompting the European Union last week to exclude Americans travelers for its "safe" travel list.

To assuage concerns about infections, 90% of hotels have increased or planned to increase cleaning and disinfecting. In addition, 70% of hotels already are or are planning to adopt contactless technology for check-in, food ordering and concierge services, according to the survey.

Oracle surveyed 4,600 consumers and 1,800 hotel executives in the United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany, Singapore and Australia in mid-April through early May.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

8 Comments
Login to comment

In January, we booked a room in Rome for May. In February, after the U.S. State Department advised against travel to Italy, we cancelled our plans. The hotel in Rome has so far refused to refund any of our money. Not very friendly of them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sorry to hear that. Wow!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Difficult to travel when the Japanese government restricts it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I would love to see my family in the States and I think wearing a mask and goggles on a flight that is not crowded is no riskier than the crowded Tokyo metro, but the Japanese government won't let me return.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My country lets people from Japan in but we're not allowed into Japan... even though the people infected in Scotland every day is less than 10. Shame - I don't see Japan letting people from the UK in this year so might have to cancel the flights I paid for before all of this started.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My country lets people from Japan in but we're not allowed into Japan... even though the people infected in Scotland every day is less than 10. Shame - I don't see Japan letting people from the UK in this year so might have to cancel the flights I paid for before all of this started.

Personally, I think this is another in a long list of ways the UK lets countries like Japan walk all over it. Who benefits from this? Certainly not the Brits. There just never seems to be any sense of reciprocity when it comes to Japan. For those arriving at Heathrow Airport, have you noticed that now, the Japanese, along with North Americans, are able to walk straight through the UK/EU line at immigration? These are automatic gates which means they won't get to interact with any officers or have to fill out forms and what-not. Over the past few years, waiting time for Brits has gotten longer and longer at immigration. I can understand why now. Meanwhile, when Brits with long-term visas return to Japan, they have to go through this stupid fingerprint and facial photo palava and the waiting time can sometimes be short, but sometimes really long. And never as quick as the Japanese.

So, my final question is, when is Japan going to let long-term foreign residents back into Japan, like other G7 countries? Is Japan unique again? Are the Japanese somehow more immune to the virus? Are foreigners still expected to pay rent, taxes, health insurance when they're not even living in Japan? I pray nothing happens to my elderly mother back home because I will lose my job if I leave Japan to see her.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hmmm. I company in the travel business say a survey says people say they're going to travel hoping you'll believe it so you should travel too so we can pump our business...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At some point, perhaps a few years from now, the consensus will be that it is safe to travel again. At that time, I think there will be a resurgence in leisure travel, as people release their pent-up urge to get out and see the world. Until that time, when we can agree that traveling is safe, forgettaboutit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites