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Travel Leaders Network reports 'surprising' vaccination uptake among clients

A Travel Leaders Network survey found 85% of respondents have already been vaccinated or intend to get vaccinated when eligible and 62% plan to take their next vacation in 2021.

When asked about plans to get vaccinated for COVID-19, 44% of respondents said they had already been vaccinated while 41% said they plan to get vaccinated when eligible. Only 8% said they did not plan to get vaccinated while another 8% haven’t decided yet.

Travel Leaders Network, with more than 55,000 travel advisors and 5,700 agency locations, conducted the survey of past and current clients of US member agencies to understand readiness to travel.

2,783 individuals surveyed

The nationwide survey, conducted online from Feb. 26 to March 2, was completed by 2,783 individuals.

In other findings, one in three have already booked their next vacation.

Some 44% said 'exploring new places' is what they miss most about traveling.

More likely to visit countries with vaccination requirement

And 62% said if a country required visitors to be vaccinated in order to enter, they would be more likely to visit.

'This data is interesting because it suggests travel is a big factor in motivating many people, particularly seniors, who are the most at risk of serious illness or hospitalization from COVID-19, to get vaccinated,' said John Lovell, president of Travel Leaders Group. 'Compare this traveler population, with a 44% already-vaccinated rate, to the general population, where only one in seven have already been vaccinated.'

According to The New York Times, on Feb. 26, 15.1% Americans had received one shot of the vaccine while only 7.5% received both shots. The figures are higher now as the US vaccination rollout accelerates.

Those vaccinated 20% more likely to already have their vacation booked

Regarding readiness to travel, the Travel Leaders Network survey revealed 32% of clients have already booked their next vacation and 24% are planning their next vacation. Some 41% are also dreaming of traveling again. Those who are already vaccinated are 20% more likely to already have their vacation booked, which indicates being vaccinated gives them the confidence to travel again and they want to do so soon.

In terms of timing, 34% are planning to take their vacation this spring and summer, an additional 23% are planning to travel this fall and 5% are looking at year-end holidays for travel. In other words, three-quarters will be traveling in 2021.

From a destination restrictions perspective, a majority (62%) of survey respondents said that if a country required visitors to be vaccinated in order to enter, they would be much more likely (36%) or somewhat more likely (26%) to visit. For those who have already been vaccinated, 66% would be much more likely (41%) or somewhat more likely (25%) to visit.

New places desired over old favorites

When it comes to what people miss about traveling, 44% said 'exploring new places' and 25% said 'getting away from it all.' Only about one in 10 (12%) indicated they miss 'returning to places I love.' Travel Leaders Network said this means the vacations they have in mind are likely to be one-of-a-kind, bucket-list-type adventures.

'As the vaccine rollout continues, we are seeing more Americans planning and booking their vacations for this year,' said Roger Block, president of Travel Leaders Network. 'Our travel advisors tell us that many of their clients are ready to travel, but they still have concerns about minimizing risks and following COVID-19 safety protocols. We believe our "Book with Confidence" program is helping those advisors guide their clients in making comfortable choices about where, when and how to travel.'

'Book with Confidence' keeps the network's advisors abreast of the latest health and safety protocols so they can provide appropriate information to their clients. Travel advisors have access to dynamic library of resources to share with clients who may have concerns about certain aspects of travel today.

Travel Leaders Network said its advisors do not make recommendations on whether it is safe to travel to a destination. Ultimately, the traveler must make that decision, ideally in an informed manner and considering his or her own individual risk tolerance.