New research from AAA shows the coronavirus has impacted 2020 travel plans for 76 percent of Floridians. This is according to the results of the AAA Consumer PulseTM survey on travel, conducted in late May. While about 40 percent of Florida travelers had to reschedule at least one trip this year, 39 percent say they cancelled a trip with no plans to reschedule.
“The coronavirus has had a significant impact on travel this year,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Even as Florida reopens and travel providers implement enhanced sanitation protocols, Floridians are mixed on how soon they’d be willing to take a road trip, a flight, or simply stay in a hotel. The majority say it will take some time before they feel comfortable traveling like they used to. Until then, Floridians will take fewer trips than normal, and take extra precautions to avoid contracting the virus.”
The 2020 summer travel season looks quite different than in years passed. Travel restrictions limit international travel opportunities, and some states require travelers to quarantine. Additionally, the CDC urges travelers to wear face coverings while in public, and to practice social distancing. Due to the limited ability to social distance, the CDC lists airports, bus stations, train stations, and rest stops as places travelers can be exposed to the virus.
“Floridians who are interested in traveling this summer are more likely to explore their own backyard, by traveling closer to home - due to the threat of the coronavirus,” said Jenkins “This means more people opting to take a road trip, instead of a flight, to avoid being in close quarters with strangers. The added value in driving is that summertime gas prices are the lowest in 15 years.”
Last year, 62 percent of Floridians took a summer vacation, which did not include the Memorial and Labor Day holidays. During the same period this year, nearly half as many (33%) Floridians have summer travel plans.
The majority of travelers (76%) say they will follow CDC guidelines, by practicing social distancing, wearing a mask and washing hands. Two in three (67%) will bring cleaning supplies when traveling.
As a result of the pandemic, nearly half (48%) of travelers are more likely to purchase travel insurance. A quarter of travelers (25%) say they are more likely to use a travel agent for future travel plans.
“A travel agent is more valuable now than ever before,” Jenkins continued. “They can help identify whether any travel restrictions will impact your trip, help you make an informed decision, and ensure you fully understand your rights in case you need to cancel or reschedule.”
Top five things that would need to happen in order for Floridians to feel comfortable traveling:
The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among 401 residents living in Florida from May 20 – May 24, 2020. Results asked of all respondents have a maximum margin of error of ± 4.9 percentage points. Responses are weighted by gender and age to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Florida.
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 14 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
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