Generali Global Assistance (GGA) announced the United States findings of 2021 Holiday Barometer – the twentieth anniversary of the annual poll sponsored by its parent company, Europ Assistance, and conducted by the consumer research firm Ipsos. The survey was conducted between May 5th and May 20th, 2021.
Based on the survey of 1000 Americans, the pandemic is still making Americans weary of travel. There is a noticeable drop in summer travel plans with only 50% of respondents indicating they will be taking a summer vacation in 2021 – an 18-point drop from 2019 pre-pandemic levels. Americans indicated they expect travel to return to normal, with no masks or other COVID-19 related precautions, in 2022.
Chris Carnicelli, CEO of Generali Global Assistance, commented on the findings, "Given the lingering impacts of the pandemic, it is reassuring that Americans are optimistic for travel normalizing in 2022. While travel numbers are down for this summer, budgets are remaining very close to pre-pandemic numbers and there is an optimism that the future is bright for Americans traveling both domestically and abroad. Americans are increasingly seeing travel as a lifestyle investment and as they would other investments like their home or car, they are looking to help protect it with insurance."
Upcoming Travel Plans
50% of respondents are planning to travel during the months of July through September coinciding with summer vacation in the US.
Travel budgets slipped slightly in the United States. Americans expected to spend $2,319 this year which is a scant 2% drop from the $2,373 budgeted in 2019.
While almost half of Americans surveyed have not decided on a summer destination, those who have are favoring domestic travel over international travel. Regardless of location – Americans have indicated they are heading to the beach indicating it as their top destination across all age groups.
Americans who are traveling are among most organized in the world as they have already booked at least part of their upcoming trip – trailing only Thailand and considerably ahead of Europe.
Ian Scott, President of Aventura World and Tewfik Ghattas, an Executive Board Member of Central Holidays, both members of the SGI family of travel brands, noted, "After a year-plus indoors, our tours are already filling up and people are looking for a new experience. With almost 80% of those surveyed saying they will not be working on their vacations – we're excited for the remainder of 2021 and really looking forward to 2022."
American's interest in travel insurance is increasing, now at 37%, compared to previous and similar EA/Ipsos surveys - but still lagging behind other markets. Americans heading overseas are much more likely to purchase a policy than those traveling domestically.
Parents are showing an increased desire for travel insurance when compared with those without children.
The Holiday Barometer also shows that the likelihood of purchasing travel insurance has a regional component among US respondents. Residents in the Northeast and the West are more likely to purchase travel insurance than those who identified as living in the Midwest and the South.
Anna Gladman, CEO at World Nomads, concluded, "We are seeing more interest in travel insurance as we emerge from the pandemic. In the 2020 poll, only 25% of respondents said they bought travel insurance previously in 2019 compared with 37% of this year's respondents saying they were likely to purchase travel insurance now."
The 2021 edition of the Holiday Barometer from Europ Assistance and Ipsos was conducted in 14 countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Belgium, Poland, the Czech Republic, China and Thailand. In each country, 1,000 consumers aged 18 years and older took part in an online questionnaire. The survey was conducted between May 5th and May 20th and investigated consumer holiday plans and travel preferences.
About Generali Global Assistance
Generali Global Assistance (GGA) is a leading brand comprised of Travel Insurance & Assistance, Medical Risk & Home Care Management, Identity & Cyber Protection, as well as other care services. GGA is part of the Generali Group, which for over 190 years has provided peace of mind to its clients and their customers and is now supported by more than 72,000 employees worldwide. Our success has been built on establishing trust by putting the customer at the core of everything we do, offering assistance and protection during our customer's most difficult and stressful situations.