STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has decimated industries across the board, but perhaps none have been impacted as severely as the travel industry.
With various travel restrictions imposed at the local, state, national and international levels, Americans have largely been staying home over the past year, since the pandemic began escalating in the United States in March 2020.
However, with three coronavirus vaccines now approved by the U.S. government, and millions of shots already in the arms of frontline and high-risk individuals, the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter for the travel industry.
According to a new survey by The Vacationer, nearly 85% of Americans are either already willing to travel or would be willing to do so once they get the vaccine or it reaches a larger portion of the population.
Approximately 28% said they were ready to travel right now, nearly 24% said they would travel once they received the vaccine, and almost 32% said they would travel once enough of the general population gets the vaccine.
Meanwhile, just 16% of those surveyed said they would not travel again until the world returns to pre-COVID life.
And not only could vaccinations help spur the recovery of the struggling travel industry, but Americans’ desire to travel could be used to incentivize residents to receive the potentially life-saving shots.
According to the survey, millions of Americans would be willing to receive the coronavirus vaccine if it meant they could get back to traveling.
Over 63% of survey respondents said that they would be willing to get the coronavirus vaccine if it was required in order to fly on an airplane.
Similarly, nearly 56% said they would get the vaccine in order to stay in a hotel, nearly 57% said they would get it if it was required to visit a certain U.S. state, and over 51% said they would get it if it was required to visit foreign countries.
Furthermore, nearly 74% of those surveyed said they would agree to a COVID-19 vaccine passport or app, allowing airlines and border agents to quickly check their vaccination status, if it was required for travel.
“Three out of every four people would agree to documentation telling airlines and authorities their vaccine status and test results. In an era of privacy concerns, this is an astoundingly high percentage,” said Eric Jones, co-founder of The Vacationer.
By implementing restrictions like the ones noted above, it’s possible the U.S. government could incentivize Americans that otherwise would not get vaccinated to do so.
It is, however, important to note that over 21% of respondents, which would represent approximately 54 million Americans, said they have no intentions of receiving the coronavirus vaccine for any reason, including potential requirements for travel.