Who Will Lead the Travel Industry Rebound in 2021?

Wednesday November 18, 2020

Who Will Lead the Travel Industry Rebound in 2021?
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With the breaking news this week that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine shows 95 percent efficacy, the idea of traveling again may be in the not-so-distant future. But who will lead the charge?

Earlier this week, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection shared today the key findings from its sixth annual State of Travel Insurance survey of travelers. Analysis of the results shows that millennials and higher-income travelers are ready to return to traveling and lead the travel recovery into 2021.

The State of Travel Insurance survey was conducted weekly over 10 weeks to measure future expectations of travel insurance purchasing, as well as traveler habits and perceptions during the pandemic. Millennials and higher-income travelers report they plan to spend more money on travel into 2021, and are more likely to cruise, travel solo, and visit more international destinations.

In recent years, millennials emerged as the generation that travels the most, followed by mature (55+) travelers. However, the pandemic has further widened the gap between millennials and other age groups. Millennials indicated they are holding onto their travel dream, with 38% saying they would take an international bucket list trip in 2021. Conversely, only 16% of mature travelers indicated they would do the same. Mature travelers are instead choosing to stay closer to home, favoring domestic road trips and family travel.

Another category in which millennials are more active than mature travelers is travel insurance. Millennials are 51% more likely to purchase travel insurance more frequently in 2021 than they did in 2020, while only 30% of mature travelers intend to buy travel insurance more regularly next year. This difference is directly correlated with the age groups' intentions to travel and the types of trips they plan to take. Looking at the respondents as a whole, the intention to buy travel insurance in 2021 is higher than any other year of the survey, with 45% of respondents reporting they plan to purchase travel insurance more frequently than they did in 2020.

Wealth also appears to be an influencer in people's travel decision-making. While two-thirds of travelers anticipate they won't travel internationally or take a cruise for seven months or more, respondents with an income of $100K or higher are ready to travel sooner. Half of this group are interested in taking a cruise or traveling overseas in the next six months.

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