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Weekly Research Roundup

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Colorado Tourism Office has kept its pulse on the effects of COVID-19 on our industry, using data insights to navigate a path forward. To help travel economies across the state, the office will share a condensed, Colorado-focused research summary every week. Below is this week's research roundup. 

Travel Data and Research Reports

U.S. Travel and Tourism Economics

  • Total Colorado traveler spending in February 2021 was $1.2 billion, down 29.5% from February 2020.
  • Since January 2020, Colorado has lost $9.7 billion in travel spending, down 30% y-o-y. This outperforms the US as a whole who is down 38% y-o-y.
  • Since the beginning of March, the U.S. travel economy’s losses from the COVID-19 pandemic have tallied $562.7 billion. 

Ski Area Visitation Trends

  • In partnership with Rove Marketing and Uber Media, U.S. Travel’s exclusive dashboard monitors daily unique mobile devices across various points of interest at sample ski destinations in the U.S.

National Parks Visitation Trends

  • In collaboration with Rove Marketing and Uber Media, U.S. Travel is offering a new and exclusive dashboard that monitors daily unique mobile devices across various points of interest at sample U.S. National Parks and National Park Sites

MMGY Portrait of American Travelers

  • The top states of interest among U.S. travelers over the next two years are Hawaii (64%), Florida (62%), California (53%), Colorado (50%), Alaska (49%) and New York (49%). It is also important to note that some destinations – Portland, Seattle and Washington, D.C. – have experienced large decreases in interest, which is likely the result of extensive political and social unrest that occurred in these destinations throughout the past year. There is some interest in international destinations. However, it remains relatively low with only 19% of leisure travelers indicating that they are likely to take an international trip in the next six months – down from 24% in January 2020. 
  • Road trips continue to be the most likely form of near-term vacation travel. Three in 5 U.S. adults (62%) expect to take at least one leisure vacation during the next six months with the preferred mode of transportation being personal car, while 2 in 5 (38%) say they will take a domestic flight. Looking further out to the next 12 months, 4 in 5 (81%) U.S. adults expect to take at least one trip. 
  • The pandemic has had a profound impact on travel behaviors. Travelers are doing more driving than flying, showing preference to outdoor destinations rather than cities and, perhaps unexpectedly, expressing an increasing focus on the impact of their travel. Fifteen percent of active leisure travelers indicate a travel service provider’s focus on sustainability and environmental considerations greatly impacts their travel decision-making. This sentiment is more evident among younger travelers who showed greater willingness to pay more for travel brands that demonstrate environmental responsibility than their older counterparts. Though the intent to spend more with travel companies that demonstrate environmental responsibility declines the older the traveler segment, 83% of active leisure travelers overall indicate they are open to changing some aspect of their travel behavior to reduce their impact on the environment. For example, visiting destinations in the off-season to reduce overcrowding and using less single-use plastics while traveling appear to be changes most are willing to make. 

Longwoods International Travel Sentiment Survey

According to the latest Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers, 88% of them now have travel plans in the next six months, the highest level in more than a year.  However, less than a third of them are likely to visit a tourism attraction or business which does not have clear COVID safety protocols, such as mask requirements and social distancing, in place.

TSA Passenger Throughput

Date                 2021           2020            2019 
April 15           1,491,435    95,085       2,616,158
April 14           1,152,703    90,784       2,317,381
April 13           1,085,034    87,534       2,208,688
April 12           1,468,972    102,184     2,484,580

Data will be updated every Friday. To see the full compilation of national data from US Travel click here. For more information, please contact Jackson Feld at jackson.feld@state.co.us.