Unvaccinated in US not as concerned about travel as vaccinated: Study

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Vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans have different views on the idea of ​​traveling this spring, according to the findings of a marketing tech company. And they are no different in the way you would think.

With travel bookings on the rise, data from New York-based Zeta Global shows that unvaccinated Americans seem to travel more comfortably — and to more densely populated places — than vaccinated people.

Vaccinated people who wait longer to travel

Zeta Global Running a survey of 3,700 US consumers in mid-March and combined the results with information about those respondents’ hotel and airport visits in February and March.

In the survey, 67% of vaccinated respondents said they won’t travel until the end of May, but only 59% of unvaccinated Americans said they would wait that long.

Vaccinated care more about health measures

More than 80% of the vaccinated people who took part in the survey said they were concerned about public health restrictions in the targeted destinations, compared with just 38% of unvaccinated travelers who shared those concerns.

Vaccinated people may feel more comfortable traveling when health restrictions apply, while unvaccinated travelers are more interested in how local restrictions will limit their travel, said Zeta Global CEO David Steinberg.

The survey found that 62% of unvaccinated travelers are “not at all” concerned about public health restrictions at their travel destinations, while only 19% of vaccinated travelers said the same.

Traveling to different places

Zeta Global’s data showed that the top destinations for travelers in February and March were New York City, Denver, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia and two Florida cities – Orlando and Tampa.

However, trends diverged when broken down by travellers’ vaccination status, said Neej Gore, the company’s chief data officer.

Top Destinations for Vaccinated Travelers
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Washington, DC
  • Boston
  • Baltimore
  • Cincinnati
  • Indianapolis

Source: Zeta Global, hotel and flight visit

“Vaccinated Americans choose locations in the Northeast and Midwest,” Gore told CNBC, adding that the unimmunized people traveled to places in the South and spots along the West Coast.

Top Destinations for Unvaccinated Travelers
  • Houston
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale
  • The Angels
  • Salt Lake City
  • San Antonio
  • Seattle-Tacoma
  • Austin, Texas
  • Little Rock, Ark.

Source: Zeta Global, hotel and flight visit

However, the April travel data showed a shift in traveler behaviour. Unvaccinated people went to densely populated cities, while those who had been vaccinated went to wide-open spaces, according to travel data collected by Zeta.

“Las Vegas is the city with the greatest relative change,” Gore said, citing data showing that the number of unvaccinated travelers visiting Las Vegas hotels tripled in April from the previous month, while the number of vaccinated visitors there. fell.

The number of unvaccinated travelers going to Florida in April also increased (+6%), but decreased among vaccinated travelers (-16%).

The trends in Florida are primarily a result of inbound travel to Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Zeta Global said. Travel there increased by 77% for unvaccinated travelers and decreased by 33% for vaccinated travelers.

While the Northeast and Midwest remain popular destinations for vaccinated travelers, “vaccinated respondents are currently traveling more to the Northwest,” Gore said, based on data showing an increase in vaccinated travelers to Oregon, Washington, Montana and the Dakotas.

The number of trips to those states did not increase among unvaccinated people, except for Oregon, which the company says is primarily due to the increased number of trips to Portland by both groups.

Northeasterners fly less

Adobe’s Digital Economy Index 2021, which came out last month, showed regional variations in summer travel habits. The report showed that Northeasterners fly less than other Americans, with flight bookings from the region in March at just 56% of pre-pandemic levels, a number lagging behind booking rebounds coming from the West (63%), South ( 70%) and Midwestern (75%).

Adobe research indicates that Northeasterners’ flight purchases are more closely related to regional vaccination rates. For every 1% increase in vaccinations in the Northwest, there was a 3.2% increase in flight bookings, the highest of any region in the United States.

It is those who have not been vaccinated who should be afraid to travel.
Harry Severance
Duke University School of Medicine

“The Northeast was hit hard in the early days of the pandemic, likely causing residents to limit themselves when it came to things like travel and social interactions,” said Taylor Schreiner, director of Adobe Digital Insights..

However, the area is densely populated, Schreiner said, so there are “viable alternatives for seeing family and friends.”

“Much of the US population is within driving distance of New York,” he said, which “lowers the opportunity cost of not flying.”

‘Increased risk’ for unvaccinated

Harry Severance, an adjunct assistant professor at Duke University School of Medicine, said people who are vaccinated early are more likely to be concerned about contracting Covid-19 and more knowledgeable about the disease’s acute and chronic effects.

“So I suspect this group will maintain a high level of concern about contracting the disease even after vaccination,” he said.

Severance said the thinking process is changing as evidence shows vaccinated people are “little susceptible” to Covid-19 infections, and when they do get sick, infections tend to be mild with a “significantly reduced ability to progress the disease.” to spread”.

“It is those who have not been vaccinated who should be afraid to travel,” he said.

“Those who have not been vaccinated are at increased risk if they gather in large groups of equally unvaccinated individuals,” Severance said, “especially if these groups from across the country come together, as the risk of exposure to different Covid variants is bigger.”

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