Who Are the Consumers Still Planning on Taking Summer Vacation?
As people around the country packed the beaches during Memorial Day Weekend, a holiday many consider to be the unofficial kick-off to summer, it looked as though their coronavirus concerns were washing away with the tide. According to Resonate’s proprietary data on up-to-the-moment consumer sentiment surrounding COVID-19, there are 20 million people who still plan on vacationing this summer, despite social distancing rules and restrictions that have been put into place in many states. This hopeful group of summer vacationers expects travel activity to return to normal this summer and plans to either drive to a destination five hours away, travel on an airline or visit a large public destination/event at some point in the next 90 days. If you’re a hotel, airline, travel booking site or restaurant, this is a critical group for you to connect with, as they could be one of the few groups doing business with you over the next few months.
This group is mostly made up of married women ages 45-54 with no children under the age of 18. When it comes to their personal values they emphasize obeying laws and fulfilling obligations, being in charge and safety in oneself and family. Their intent to travel this summer seems antithetical to their belief in obeying laws and keeping their family safe. However, this group is 38% more likely than the average consumer to value being in charge. It’s clear that when it comes to vacation plans, that their emphasis on making their own decisions and being in control outweighs the others.
Sentiment Surrounding COVID-19
What is this group’s sentiment surrounding aspects of the coronavirus? At Resonate we’re actively collecting and analyzing survey results to measure anxiety, behaviors and motivations around the coronavirus pandemic and have put them into a one-of-a-kind report, Reopening America: Up-to-the-Moment U.S. Consumer Sentiment During the Pandemic. According to the survey results, this group is 165% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to only be concerned about the coronavirus situation to a small extent and 70% more likely to be concerned about contracting the virus to a small extent. They’re also 30% more likely to have left their home more than 20 times in the last week. They’re 28% more likely to believe the media is over-representing the coronavirus situation and they’re 22% more likely not to track outbreak news updates at all. Clearly, their anxiety surrounding the pandemic is less than the average consumer, which explains why they’re so eager to keep their summer vacation plans.
Travel Habits and Behaviors
The top three reasons this group travels are to have new experiences, watch a sporting event and have an educational experience. With live sports on hold and many tourist attractions closed across the U.S. and around the world, it seems like their travel goals may not be so easy to achieve if they travel this summer. However, the consumers in this group are planners. They plan their vacations 3-6 months out (sometimes further), which would explain why they’re still committed to going this summer. Perhaps they won’t get refunded if they’ve paid in advance or they’ve been looking forward to the trip for so long, cancelling feels like a major let down. And, clearly, when they planned this vacation, COVID-19 was not on anyone’s radar.
The top three domestic destinations this group visits are Cape Cod, Yellowstone National Park and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Coronavirus cases in some states are relatively low compared to hot spots like New York City and New Orleans, so this group might believe that traveling out west could pose a lower risk. However, this group is 79% more likely to travel to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. And despite the cancellation of many long-held summer traditions such as fireworks, Cape Cod Baseball League and parades, perhaps they don’t want to give up hope on their annual summer vacation.
Where Can You Reach Them?
If your business relies heavily on summer tourism, you’ll want to target this audience in particular. So, where can you find them across digital touchpoints? Their top social media networks are Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube. Streaming services are a critical area to focus your communication efforts as 27% of this segment has increased their frequency of streaming TV. Their top paid streaming subscriptions are Showtime, Starz and ESPN+, so concentrate running ads on those. They’ve also increased their frequency of reading newspapers and magazines, so consider running an ad with a local paper, New York Post or USA Today, all of which they read regularly. 23% of this group prefers booking their travel with a specialty site, specifically Travelocity, Kayak and Priceline, so those sites pose another opportunity to connect with this group of determined travelers.
While for some, summer plans will have to wait until 2021, this group of summer travelers is determined to make it happen. With changes happening daily, your business needs reliable data in order to continue driving revenue and growth. Resonate’s proprietary data can identify segments such as these, and much more, to help you grow your business in these constantly evolving times. Ready to learn more? Download our latest report: Reopening America: Up-to-the-Moment U.S. Consumer Sentiment During the Pandemic.