71% of Tennesseans more confident in travel than 3 months ago, survey finds

Traveler confidence is soaring, according to a new AAA Travel survey, fielded in late June. According to the data, nearly three-quarters of Tennesseans (71%) feel more comfortable traveling now than they did three months ago.

Over the course of the past three quarterly AAA Travel surveys, residents’ comfort level has significantly increased as their concern about COVID-19 waned.


Top reasons Tennesseans feel more confident traveling:

· Received their COVID-19 vaccination (47%)
· More confident in safety measures being implemented (31%)
· Less afraid about the dangers of the virus (25%)

Of those who are already or plan to be vaccinated, 39% say travel was a motivating factor in doing so.
“AAA has experienced a surge in demand for travel as more Americans have become vaccinated and feel confident in their ability to vacation safely,” said Debbie Haas, Vice President of Travel for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “AAA travel advisors have been inundated with calls from people who want help navigating the growing options for travel.  Cruises and guided vacations are fully staffed and typically operating in 2021 with less than full capacity of guests, making a more intimate experience.  In addition, these trips are largely inclusive of meals and activities, making it easier to choose a great value for travel in 2021. Our team members who are traveling this summer are having a great time.”

Travel Plans

Nearly seven in ten (69%) Tennesseans have already traveled or plan to take a trip in 2021. Three in five of those (60%) will take their next trip sometime between July and September. Travel volumes have greatly increased from the 54% of Tennesseans who traveled in 2020.

Tennesseans’ Top 5 Vacations in Q3:

· Beach Destination (38%)
· City/Major Metro Destination (28%)
· National/State Park (24%)
· Lake Destination (16%)
· Theme Park (15%)


Cruising

A growing number of Tennesseans are back on board with the idea of cruising. According to new survey data, two in five (40%) Tennesseans feel comfortable taking an ocean or river cruise, with more than a third (35%) planning to cruise in the future.

“We are seeing tremendous enthusiasm among travelers who are ready to set sail on a cruise,” Haas continued. “Ships are filling up fast in 2021. Next year is looking even stronger, as 2022 cruise bookings with AAA are outpacing what we saw in 2019.  New options for cruising in 2021 are emerging weekly, so travel advisors can watch for options if they know of your interests.”

Traveler Confusion

A third (33%) of Tennesseans are finding it challenging to understand the COVID-related requirements for international travel. That’s because restrictions and protocols can vary depending on the destination and type of trip, and change as governments adapt to the local situation.

“The value of a travel advisor is greater now than ever before,” Haas continued. “AAA travel advisors have exclusive tools to quickly navigate requirements for each destination, helping travelers make informed decisions and prepare for their trip. Additionally, we leverage long-standing relationships with travel providers to provide options and special benefits that travelers can’t find anywhere else.”

Travel Insurance

Nearly two in five Tennesseans (38%) say they are more likely to purchase travel insurance now than before the pandemic began.

“Travelers were quickly reminded last year that unexpected events can impact your trip at any time,” Haas continued. “Travel insurance is extremely important in today’s environment. There are various policies that can help offset unexpected out of pocket expenses, in case you get sick or your trip is cancelled or delayed.  Plus, Travel Insurance provides a range of coverage options in the event that a hurricane disrupts your travel plans.  Our travel advisors can help you choose a policy that will allow you to relax and enjoy your vacation.”