U.S. Travel Tracker January 2021: Hope Amid Continued Hiatus

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by Haixia Wang + Skift Team - Feb 2021

Skift Research Take

U.S. travel rate dipped to 21% in January, marking the second worst month since the pandemic started. But Americans are hopeful for a better 2021 ahead and travel companies need to be prepared.

Report Overview

January marked the second darkest month for the U.S. travel industry since the pandemic started. According to our latest travel tracker, only 21% of Americans travelled in January 2021, barely two percentage points higher than April 2020, the worst month in modern travel history.

However, this might be, among other cautionary steps at both the individual and government levels, a much needed pause to stop the spread of the virus so people could travel again, safely and soon. Indeed, hope seems to be not too far-fetched. New coronavirus cases have been dropping sharply across the country, with average daily new cases decreasing from 175,700 in January to 81,700 to February up to now. On the vaccine front, after the initial mishandling, the U.S. has become one of the forerunners in vaccine rollouts to the public.

With that, American consumers’ confidence of a better 2021 continues to reign. Of the Americans we surveyed in early February, 72% said they would definitely or likely travel in 2021, two percentage points higher than in early January.

In this report, we highlight new trends in travel incidences, consumer sentiments and future travel intents distilled from our January Travel Tracker survey.

In addition, we added two new questions on remote work status and its impact on travel and mobility in our January tracker. Forty-five percent of the Americans surveyed who are currently in the workforce are working remotely and many have taken trips and intend to take more trips because of the work-anywhere flexibility.

What You'll Learn From This Report

  • Travel incidences, Jan 2020–Jan 2021
  • January travel highlights
  • COVID-19 impacted travel, Aug 2020–Jan 2021
  • Changing consumer sentiments on the economic outlook, Sep 2020–Feb 2021
  • Consumer intent on 2021 travel
  • Remote work trend and its impact on travel and mobility

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