Vaccine scepticism should not be ignored in US outbound travel recovery
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Vaccine scepticism should not be ignored in US outbound travel recovery

By Globaldata Travel and Tourism 29 Apr 2021 (Last Updated April 29th, 2021 16:52)

The rate by which a population is being vaccinated is identified as being crucial as to when specific countries will be able to travel internationally again.

The rate by which a population is being vaccinated is identified as being crucial as to when specific countries will be able to travel internationally again. However, vaccine scepticism needs to be addressed in nations such as the US.

GlobalData’s live Verdict poll* found that 23% of respondents in North America did not intend to take a vaccine for Covid-19. This was the highest number of respondents in comparison to any other region. Although 40% have already been vaccinated, those refusing to do so will negatively impact outbound tourism recovery.

North America involves mixed responses from individuals across the US, Canada and Mexico but vaccine scepticism has been highly recorded in the US. The US has rolled the highest number of vaccinations globally per 1,000 people (709.5) as of 26 April 2021 on GlobalData’s Covid-19 vaccination dashboard. As it stands, 27.1% of its population have received vaccinations, but with around 23% stating vaccine hesitancy, this poses a lengthy recovery for outbound travel.

Constructing travel corridors may be postponed

News of opening up travel between the US and Europe recently emerged. 35.3 million international departures took place from the US to Europe in 2019 and the US features regularly in the top ten inbound source markets for European destinations. Outbound travel from the US to Europe declined by 75.3% year over year (YOY) in 2020, according to GlobalData. Therefore, the resumption of travel will be welcomed by many a destination heavily reliant on US tourists such as Italy, Germany, France and Spain.  

News of a travel agreement is never certain. Worldwide, agreements have been forming between destinations, which then have to be revoked or postponed due to a fresh outbreak of Covid-19 or the spread of new variants. Hong Kong-Singapore and Australia-New Zealand are demonstratable examples here. GlobalData’s Q1 2021 consumer survey found that 52% of US respondents were ‘extremely concerned’ about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in general, which was 10% higher than the global average**. With 23% of individuals in North America still opting to not take the Covid-19 vaccine, this further reflects that a large proportion of the US population may not be vaccinated by summer 2021.

Vaccine scepticism, coupled with Covid-19 concerns, will continue to impact US outbound travel recovery. This displays that there are still further barriers afoot for one of the world’s most lucrative source markets to travel internationally in 2021 and potentially 2022.

* GlobalData’s Verdict poll – 7,326 respondents (live since 13th March 2021)

** GlobalData’s Q12021 consumer survey – 610 US respondents, 10,122 global respondents

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