According to the findings of a marketing technology company, vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans have different views on the idea of traveling this spring. And they don’t differ in the way you might think.
With travel bookings on the rise, data from New York-based Zeta Global indicates that unvaccinated Americans seem to travel more comfortably – and to more densely populated places – than vaccinated people.
Vaccinated people wait longer to travel
Zeta Global conducted 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 wouldn’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 vaccinated people who participated in the survey said they were concerned about public health restrictions at their intended destinations, compared to only 38% of unvaccinated travelers who shared those concerns.
Vaccinated people may feel more comfortable when traveling when health restrictions apply, while unvaccinated travelers are more interested in how local restrictions will limit their travel, said David Steinberg, CEO of Zeta Global.
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.
Travel to different places
The data from Zeta Global 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 travelers’ vaccination status, said Neej Gore, the company’s chief data officer.
Top destinations for vaccinated travelers
- Minneapolis-St. Paul
- Columbus, Ohio
- Washington D.C.
Source: Zeta Global, hotel and flight visit
“Vaccinated Americans choose locations in the Northeast and Midwest,” Gore told The Washington City Times, adding that the unimmunized ones traveled to places in the South and spots along the West Coast.
Top destinations for unvaccinated travelers
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale
- Los Angeles
- Salt lake city
- San Antonio
- Austin, Texas
- Little Rock, Ark.
Source: Zeta Global, hotel and flight visit
However, travel data from April showed a shift in travel habits. According to Zeta travel data, unvaccinated people went to densely populated cities, while unvaccinated people went to wide open spaces.
“Las Vegas is the city with the greatest relative change,” said Gore, referring to data showing that the number of unvaccinated travelers visiting Las Vegas hotels in April tripled from the previous month, while the number of vaccinated visitors there. decreased.
Likewise, the number of unvaccinated travelers going to Florida in April increased (+ 6%), but decreased among vaccinated travelers (-16%).
Known unofficially as “Big Sky Country,” Montana last month attracted more vaccinated Americans than unvaccinated Americans.
Mike Kemp | In Pictures Ltd. | Corbis Historical | Getty Images
The trends in Florida are mainly driven by inbound travel to Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Zeta Global said. Traveling there was 77% higher for unvaccinated travelers and 33% lower for vaccinated travelers.
While the Northeast and Midwest remain popular destinations for vaccinated travelers, “vaccinated respondents are currently traveling more northwest,” Gore said, based on data showing an increase in vaccinated travelers to Oregon, Washington, Montana and the Dakotas.
Travel to those states did not increase among unvaccinated people, with the exception of Oregon, which the company said is mainly due to the increased number of trips to Portland by both groups.
Northeasterners fly less
Adobe’s 2021 Digital Economy Index, released last month, showed regional differences in summer travel habits. The report found that Northeast Americans fly less than other Americans, with flight bookings in March coming from the region at just 56% of the pre-pandemic level, a number lagging behind booking rebounds from the west (63% ),) and Midwest (75%).
Adobe’s research shows that Northeasterners’ flight purchases are more closely related to regional vaccination coverage. 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.
“The Northeast was hit hard in the early days of the pandemic, likely forcing residents to self-limit 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 to seeing family and friends.”
“Much of the US population is within driving distance of New York,” he said, “lowering 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 are more knowledgeable about the acute and chronic effects of the disease.
“So I suspect that this group would maintain a great deal of concern about contracting the disease even after vaccination,” he said.
Severance said the thinking process is changing as the evidence shows that vaccinated people are “little susceptible” to Covid-19 infections, and when they become ill, the infections are typically mild with a “significantly reduced ability to progress the disease. spread”.
“It is those who have not been vaccinated who should be afraid to travel,” he said.
“Those who are unvaccinated are at an increased risk if they gather in large groups of similarly unvaccinated individuals,” Severance said, “especially if these groups come together from across the country because of the risk of being exposed to different Covid variants is getting bigger. “