Concerns about the COVID-19 omicron variant are making fully vaccinated individuals more likely to drop travel plans in the next three months. By contrast nearly two-thirds of unvaccinated individuals (71 percent) say this news does not impact their likelihood to travel.
According to a survey of 900 adults in the US from travel marketing firm MMGY Global, almost half (45 percent) of respondents who have heard about the omicron variant say they are less likely to travel because of related concerns.
Almost an equal number (39 percent) of vaccinated adults say the variant would have no impact on the likelihood of their taking a trip in the next three months.
As the omicron variant sweeps across the globe, its impact on Americans’ travel plans will change according to what scientists learn about how the new strain behaves. The wait-and-see attitude reflects the response in other recent surveys taken since the emergence of omicron, such as the latest GBTA tracking poll earlier this month.
Among all respondents, the MMGY Global survey found:
- Nearly half (43 percent) say they would be significantly less likely to travel if scientists determine omicron is more likely to result in hospitalizations.
- Over a third (34 percent) say they would be significantly less likely to travel if scientists determine omicron is more resistant to current vaccines.
- Nearly as many (32 percent) say they would be significantly less likely to travel if scientists determine omicron is more easily transmitted.
“As we have seen with the Delta variant, traveler mentality can be affected by a perpetuated media and social narrative, but that effect can be fleeting and somewhat unreliable,” said Clayton Reid, CEO of MMGY Global.
“While we see an expected apprehension among travelers as they first learn of omicron, we also expect this to be replaced quickly with a bullish sentiment toward 2022 travel,” Reid added.