U.S. Travel Tracker: July 2021 Highlights

by Haixia Wang + Skift Team - Aug 2021

Skift Research Take

July did turn out to be a record-breaking month for U.S. travel. However, the Delta Variant has already made some consumers halt their travel plan for the remainder of 2021. How the new surge evolves will deeply impact the fragile recovery path in the next few months.

Report Overview

When we released our May Travel Tracker report in mid-June, we were full of confidence that the 2021 summer would be one of the strongest travel seasons in the U.S. Little did we know that two months later, we are slipping quickly back to the abnormal. The U.S. added 321K new COVID cases in the entire month of June. In the first half of August alone, it already added over 1.5 million new cases.

Our July Travel Tracker survey captures the motion of this quick downturn fully. On one hand, July did turn out to be a record-breaking month in travel, with nearly half of Americans taking trips in the month. In addition to leisure travel, business travel for conferences and conventions and international travel all registered healthy growths.

On the other hand, as the Delta Variant quickly swept the country in the last few weeks, consumer sentiments turned negative on all fronts.  Forty-five percent of Americans now believe the U.S. economy will worsen in the next 12 months, the highest since December 2020. Confidence in personal financial situation and expected future travel spending also dropped sharply.

On top of this, summer will be winding down in three weeks. How will the battle against the Delta Variant unfold? Will the dark winter that we experienced last year repeat itself? We certainly hope not.

What You'll Learn From This Report

  • Travel incidences, January 2020–July 2021
  • July travel highlights
  • COVID-19 impacted travel, October 2020–July 2021
  • Changing consumer sentiments on the economic outlook, February 2020–August 2021
  • Consumer intent for the remainder of 2021 travel
  • Remote work trend and its impact on travel and mobility
  • How COVID-19 vaccination might impact travel