The Role of Travel Research in Recovery

In this post:  travel research by Destination Analysts, Longwoods International, MMGY, Travel Economics, Arrivalist, TSA, Smith Travel Research (STR) and the National Park Service provide excellent analysis on travel and data giving a clear indication on when the travel, tourism and hospitality industry will recover.

Backed up by excellent weekly travel analysis since late March 2020, top research firms like Destination Analysts, provide state tourism agencies and the travel industry the data they need to identify the types of messages visitors are interested in seeing and sharing when these should be deployed. Respondents also indicate the types of activities he or she is interested. While somewhat following the rules of common sense, it’s been fascinating to see what segments of the travel industry are expected to recover more quickly, based on real data versus gut reactions.

Travel research shows outdoor activities lead the pack along with vacation rentals (houses and condos), boutique hotels and AirBnBs. Indoor events, such as conventions and meeting will be the last to recover.

As discussed in a June 18, 2020, roundtable – All in on the Outdoors – outdoor activities, such as camping and hiking, have seen a surge. This was reinforced by Katie Briscoe, MMGY Global and their company’s Travel Safety Barometer. Similar comments and evidence was shared by guests Andy Grinsfelder, vice president, revenue, sales and marketing, Delaware North Companies, Cathy Ritter, director, Colorado Tourism Office, James Ashurst, executive vice president, RV Industry Association and Toby O’Rourke, president and CEO, Kampgrounds of America, Inc.

Longwoods International has shared COVID-19 Travel Sentiment Research, while the U.S. Travel Association has presented excellent updates on U.S. travel spending through Tourism Economics, tracked traveler trends via Arrivalist’s Daily Travel Index, supplied details pertaining to air travel passenger screenings by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and distributed hotel occupancy data from Smith Travel Research (STR), along with reports from the U.S. National Parks – visitation trends, the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), American Express Global Business Travel and Harris Poll’s C-19 Tracker.

While numerous webinars are regularly held with talking heads from the hospitality industry imparting his or her opinions, I put much more faith in data driven research over personal predictions. Many are tainted and based on self-interest. They suggest the need to return to normal solely in order to survive and ultimately to grow market share and bottom line.

The best answers relating to tourism, travel, festivals and events, in my book, should always be backed by quality travel data and analysis.


Cancelling a Festival or an Event – What’s Involved

How Long Before Festivals and Events Can Return?

Finding Sponsors and Volunteers During the Pandemic

Obstacles Lie in The Road Ahead

A Line Clearly Divides Indoor and Outdoor Events

Indoor Events Will Face the Biggest Challenges

Meetings & Conventions … the Last to Recover

Visit Indy Accepts the Event Challenge Head On

How Long Before Events Can Return?


To learn more about event and festival management, check out “Secrets to Successful Events:  How to Organize, Promote and Manage Exceptional Events and Festivals.” For those with event planning experience, consider, “Secrets to Successful Events Resource Guide: 42+ Easy-to-Use Tools and Resources.” Both are written by internationally known author and speaker Lynn Fuhler and are available on Amazon and at major booksellers.

To obtain a copy of The Event Safety Alliance Reopening Guide, click here.

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