Just 44 percent of Americans are planning overnight vacation or leisure travel in 2020, according to a survey commissioned by The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA).  Amongst these plans, survey participants showed a high interest in road trips, family events, and long weekends over the summer months, according to the survey conducted by Morning Consult. 

family travel

Among the number of Americans with travel plans before the end of the year, 59 percent expect to take their first overnight trip by the end of the summer. Due to recent events, summer road trips are growing increasingly popular, with 72 percent of participants planning an overnight vacation via car over the next five months. Of that number, 75 percent expect to drive at least two hours.

On their next overnight trip, 43 percent said they would prefer to stay with family or friends, 39 percent in a hotel, nine percent said they would stay in a short-term rental like Airbnb or VRBO and only five percent said they would stay in a camper/RV. 

Given the current events, within the next five months, the overwhelming majority of survey participants expect to take only a day trip. For the remainder of the year, most Americans do not anticipate going on cruises, taking camper/RV trips, or vacations that require plane travel.

“Travel is by no means back yet, but we are encouraged to see people begin to travel as their communities reopen, and we all learn to navigate this new normal,” said President and CEO of the AHLA, Chip Rogers. “If you are thinking about traveling in 2020, my message to you is that hotels are clean and safe places, and we are ready to welcome you when you’re ready to travel. Through our Safe Stay initiative, we’ve enhanced our already rigorous cleaning protocols to be more transparent and give you even more peace of mind.”

The “Safe Stay” initiative Rogers includes enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols. While “Stay Safe” provides direction on employee and guest health, employee responsibilities, cleaning products and protocols and physical distancing, the initiative will be revised as needed based on the recommendations of public health authorities in order to remain in compliance with federal, state and local laws.

The hotel industry was one of the hardest hit due to the global pandemic, with April hotel occupancy dropping to a mere 24.5 percent among open hotels nationwide. This was the lowest occupancy for any month on record in the U.S., according to an STR report.

Rogers’ call on Congress to prioritize the industries and employees being most affected by the pandemic is among many to help hotels retain and rehire employees, protect employees and guests, keep hotel doors open and incentivize Americans to travel again when it’s safe.

Are you planning a trip in 2020? Are you more likely to stay in a hotel or some other form of residence? Tell us in the comments below.

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