The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is changing the way consumers make travel plans.
In fact, according to a recent announcement by AAA Travel, there were anecdotal reports suggesting that fewer individuals will travel this year compared to the past.
“Last year, 43 million Americans traveled for Memorial Day Weekend – the second-highest travel volume on record since AAA began tracking holiday travel volumes in 2000,” Paula Twidale, the senior vice president at AAA Travel, said. “With social distancing guidelines still in practice, this holiday weekend’s travel volume is likely to set a record low.”
AAA Travel compared the travel volume to that of 2009 as well, which had approximately 31 million travellers as an all-time low. That weekend neared the end of the Great Recession period, and it was found that while 26.4 million Americans travelled by car, 2.1 million pertained to air travel and about 2 million individuals used other methods of transportation such as trains and cruise ships.
Research conducted by GlobalWebIndex painted a similar picture in terms of low travel volumes. It was found that 41% of individuals delayed their vacation and holiday purchases due to COVID-19. While 26% of those surveyed delayed buying flight tickets, 20% made delays for concerts and theatres.
A study conducted by Ipsos also revealed that 50% of U.S. respondents would not travel by airplane, either. For consumers over the age of 55, this reached 58%. Meanwhile, only 22% of Americans said they would go on a cruise amid COVID-19.
Such a decline in travel plans was reflected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), too. In fact, the CDC issued a Level Three Warning on cruise ship travel and advised that cruises be deferred until further notice.
The aversion to travel in general was also encouraged by the organization. “Because travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19, staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick,” the CDC explained.
Such practices of social distancing in order to mitigate and stop the spread of COVID-19 is integral to the health and safety of individuals worldwide, and such efforts are not limited to travellers.
At this challenging time, businesses and merchants alike are working to make the customer experience better and safer. One effective method that merchants have been deploying is the use of contactless payment solutions.
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