NEW YORK — The tourism industry has been rapidly transforming and adapting as travel seasonality and consumer trip-planning behavior have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MMGY Global—an integrated marketing company specializing in travel, tourism, and hospitality—has identified an opportunity for this year’s traditional summer travel season to extend past Labor Day into fall, creating the “Stretch Season.”
Pent-up travel demand combined with Americans becoming more comfortable with venturing out and the continuation of remote work and learning is creating an opportune time for travelers to make up for lost experiences this fall, according to MMGY Global. Remote work and learning also make midweek and weeklong stays—times typically less expensive to travel than weekends—more feasible than in past years.
The latest results of MMGY Travel Intelligence’s ongoing Travel Intentions Pulse Survey, which measures the impact of COVID-19 on American travelers’ attitudes and changes in travel behavior, point to the potential for the Stretch Season to be lucrative for the industry. More than half (64 percent) of travelers expect to take a leisure trip within the next six months, and 54 percent say that they are more likely to travel in the fall this year than in previous years. Loosened cancellation policies and travel brands adapting quickly to the new marketplace have caused a shift in leisure trips planned for late July and August to the fall. Of those surveyed, 73 percent of travelers reported feeling safe traveling in their cars.
“The season following Labor Day provides travelers an opportunity to extend their travel budgets during a more value-oriented period, especially in their own cities, regionally and in destinations that feature outdoor activities like beaches and parks,” said Clayton Reid, CEO of MMGY Global. “This new reality creates an opportunity to boost the travel industry and help stimulate economic recovery.”