Fear ebbs as pandemic cases fall, travelers embrace safety measures
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Traveler confidence is growing as COVID-19 vaccinations become more readily available. A new AAA survey reveals that more than half of North Dakotans (56%) are comfortable taking a trip. That’s a six percentage-point increase compared to January’s survey.
North Dakotans cite increased safety measures and less fear of the virus as the top two reasons they feel comfortable traveling now. A quarter (25%) base their confidence on having been vaccinated.
“After a full year in a global pandemic, there is tremendous pent-up demand for travel,” said Gene LaDoucer, director of public affairs for AAA-The Auto Club Group’s heartland region. “AAA Travel agents are seeing great interest from North Dakotans eager to plan a trip.”
According to the Survey:
- 65% of North Dakotans expect to travel in 2021
- 41% of travelers will take their next 3-day trip before July
- 60% of North Dakotans say they would be traveling more if there was not a pandemic
- 43% of North Dakotans say they will feel more comfortable traveling when cases decline; 39% when they are fully vaccinated
North Dakotans appear more willing to fly and stay in a hotel or resort. According to the survey:
- 65% are comfortable staying in a hotel/resort (15 percentage-points more than Q1)
- 47% are comfortable taking a flight (7 percentage-points more than Q1)
The most popular vacations for Q2 travelers are:
- National/state parks (25%)
- Lake destinations (24%)
- Beach destinations (17%)
“Spring and summer travelers value outdoor destinations parks, lakes and beaches now more than ever,” LaDoucer said. “Trips like these allow people to satisfy their thirst for travel, while also remaining socially distant in an open air environment.”
North Dakotans will also consider buying travel insurance, due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. More than a third of residents (34%) report being more likely to purchase travel insurance now than before the pandemic began.
Since the pandemic, many travel insurance providers have adjusted their policies to provide protection for travelers who become ill with COVID-19 either before or during their trip. Because coverages can vary by policy, AAA Travel Advisors can help travelers choose the right policy that best protects their finances and health before and during their trip.
Travel agents are proving to be more important than ever during the pandemic. As more people are booking travel again, popular destinations are filling up and requirement vary.
Travel advisors serve as an advocate to help travelers assess options and navigate new safety protocols before, during and after a trip, and can answer questions related to:
- Travel insurance options
- What destinations and attractions are open both domestically and internationally
- Which operators still have options available in popular destinations
- Destination-specific testing and quarantine requirements
- What to do if you need to make last-minute changes to a trip
Road trips to domestic destinations continue to be the preferred way for many to travel, but even these trips require additional planning and preparation. COVID requirements by location are imbedded in AAA’s app and website, so you can easily see these rules while you plan your road trip. Also, you can search for hotels based upon AAA’s Diamond Ratings and Best of Housekeeping Awards to help you make a confident decision. Go to the AAA App or COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map and TripTik.AAA.com for the latest state and local travel restrictions, and to identify which rest stops, gas stations, restaurants and hotels are open along their route.
About the AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey
The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in North Dakota from March 12 - 18, 2021. A total of 200 residents completed the survey. Survey results asked of all respondents have a maximum margin of error of ± 6.9% points. Responses are weighted by age and gender to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in North Dakota.
About AAA - The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America with more than 14 million members across 14 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories. ACG and its affiliates provide members with roadside assistance, insurance products, banking and financial services, travel offerings and more. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA’s mission is to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve traffic safety. For more information, get the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.