ATLANTA — A new survey from IHG Hotels & Resorts reveals how much people are longing for human connection, to be with their loved ones, and to make new memories. The survey was conducted in early January by OnePoll, a survey-led marketing research company specializing in online and mobile polling, among adults in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents said they canceled up to four trips—leisure and business—last year. More than half the travelers surveyed said they have now rebooked canceled trips or plan to rebook them, with family vacations and visiting loved ones topping travel wish lists for 2021. Respondents across all age groups reported that spending time with family and friends is a primary motivator for travel this year.
One in five respondents said they plan to make up for the lack of travel in 2020 by going on more trips in 2021. One in five people overall also said they hope to travel to a place on their bucket list in 2021; among travelers age 18-24, that same aspiration was reported by one in three travelers. This age group was also five times as likely to say that volunteering for a community in need was a primary motivator for travel. Among all travelers, one in three surveyed said going to restaurants and trying new foods has the most positive impact on their vacations. Over a third of all those surveyed, including 50 percent of those 55 and older, said they plan to hold off traveling until the COVID-19 vaccine is more widely available.
“It’s often said that travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer, and our survey results prove that people are hungry for those rich experiences again,” said Claire Bennett, chief customer officer, IHG Hotels & Resorts. “But the world has changed, and travel decisions must be made more thoughtfully. As we look ahead, we’ve all had a lot of time to think about what travel means to us, what trips are most important, and how we want to reconnect with loved ones.”
One in three workers globally, and 40 percent in the United States, stated the lack of business travel in 2020 demotivated them. Of those who travel for business, 40 percent miss face-to-face meetings. More than half of respondents said business travel allows them to “create meaningful relationships with colleagues, customers, and/or clients,” and nearly 45 percent shared that business travel improves their working mood and makes them more motivated. When it comes to what respondents traveling for work miss the most, one in three said it was “sleeping in a comfy hotel bed” and one in four said “room service.”
While on vacation, the majority of U.S. respondents said traveling with loved ones, creating new memories, and having quality time with others had the most positive impact on their mood, while most Australians said it was sightseeing and for U.K. travelers, it was chasing sunshine. One in four of respondents age 45 and older said they look forward to intimacy while on vacation.
Bennett added, “Whether it’s that longed-for family beach vacation, a weekend getaway with friends, your first in-person business meeting, or a special anniversary trip, our family of 16 brands is ready to help open up the world when the time is right and welcome travelers back with confidence, as we embark on the next chapter of travel.”