A recent survey demonstrates the resilience of the hospitality industry and the dedication of the industry’s professionals. According to the latest tracking study of American travelers by the market research firm Longwoods International, most travelers experienced service levels as good as or better than prior to the pandemic on their trips this fall, with about half reporting service comparable to pre-pandemic travel and a quarter rating their service experience as better than before pandemic. About a fifth of travelers judged service on their fall trips as below pre-pandemic levels.
“The travel industry is proving to be nimble in providing excellent customer service at this phase of the pandemic, despite the labor shortages, COVID-19 restrictions and demand challenges the industry faces,” said Amir Eylon, President and CEO of Longwoods International. “In fact, travelers reported better service on their fall trips when compared to their summer travel.”
Meeting planners might want to take into consideration the preferences that travelers expressed in the survey: 30 percent said they are reducing the number of trips they’re taking because of COVID-19; the same percentage of respondents said they’re choosing destinations they can drive to as opposed to those that require air travel, and more than a quarter of respondents said they’re traveling within the United States rather than internationally. Only 9 percent said they’re choosing not to travel at all and just 6 percent said they are canceling trips.
One caveat: the survey was fielded before the Omicron variant became dominant.