The impact of the Omicron variant on travel sentiment, trip plans, and travel marketability is now measurable, although not yet at lows reached during the Delta variant period. Meanwhile, 30% of American travelers are still heading out for Christmas Holiday trips.

IMPORTANT: These findings are brought to you from our independent research, which is not sponsored, conducted or influenced by any advertising or marketing agency. Every week since March 15, 2020, Destination Analysts has surveyed 1,200+ American travelers about their thoughts, feelings, perceptions and behaviors surrounding travel—specifically in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic—and explored a variety of topics. The key findings presented below represent data collected December 8th-10th.

Key Findings to Know:

With the Omicron variant front and center in the news, while the holidays approach, American travelers are feeling more anxious and less optimistic about the near-term. Those that expect the pandemic situation to get worse in the U.S. over the next month rose nearly 10 percentage points in the last two weeks to 42.6%, and about two-thirds now say that another significant wave is likely to occur in the next three months (another ~10-point increase). Belief in COVID’s long-term presence jumped to over 70%. Here is what our latest research found about the impact of the Omicron variant and the current pandemic situation on travel:

  • Travel Sentiment: While 76.0% of American travelers remain in a ready-to-travel state of mind, this is down from 82.0% October 15th, when this metric recovered from the Delta variant. In fact, well over half of American travelers say the recent news about the Omicron variant make them less interested in traveling right now. High excitement levels about a potential getaway in the next month has declined 3 percentage points in the last two weeks to 65.7%. Similarly, those highly excited as they look out over their leisure travel in the next year has fallen 4.1 percentage points to 67.2%. Openness to travel inspiration is at 59.7%, falling from 64.0% November 26th. In Destination Analysts’ Travel Marketing Sentiment Index, the impact of the Omicron variant is now apparent, although the declines have not dipped to the lows of the Delta-variant period.


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