With the COVID-19 Delta variant pushing infections higher again, U.S. business travelers are scaling back their travel plans, a new survey has determined.

Approximately 67 percent of respondents said they’re planning to take fewer trips. A little over half said they’re likely to cancel existing travel plans and not reschedule them. As well, 60 percent said they’d postpone existing travel plans, according to the survey by Morning Consult for the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

“Hotels were already on pace to lose more business travel revenue this year than we did in 2020. And now rising COVID-19 cases threaten to further reduce the main source of revenue for our industry,” Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA, said in prepared remarks.

According to the study, business travel and events, which account for more than half of hotel revenue, aren’t expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.

Among the survey’s additional findings:

  • 68 percent said they will likely take shorter trips.
  • 66 percent said they’re likely to only travel to places they can drive to.

The survey contacted 2,200 adults from Aug. 11-12, 2021. Out of that total, 18 percent of respondents, or 414 people, are business travelers. Interviews were conducted online and the data was weighted to approximate a large sample of adults based on gender, education, age, race and region. Results have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Additionally, the survey tested attitudes among 1,590 people, or 72 percent of respondents, who said they’d traditionally be likely to attend large meetings, gatherings and events. Result highlights from this subgroup: 71 percent said they would probably attend fewer in-person events or gatherings; 67 percent said they’d be more likely to have shorter meetings or events; 59 percent said they would probably postpone existing meetings or events until a future date. Just under 50 percent said they’d probably cancel existing meetings or events with no plans to reschedule.

Source: Morning Consult/ the American Hotel & Lodging Association

Topics USA COVID-19