How Travelers' Attitudes Are Changing


The Global Rescue Traveler Sentiment and Safety Survey found that opinions vary regarding technology designed to improve airport check-ins, security processing and obtaining COVID-19 booster vaccinations.

More than half (58 percent) of survey respondents have already received an updated COVID-19 vaccination or plan to get one, which is consistent with the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization.

However, almost a third (29 percent) of respondents haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccination booster and do not plan to in the future. The remaining respondents (13 percent) are uncertain whether they will get a booster shot.

Vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are equally as likely to travel internationally and domestically during the holidays between November 2023 and January 2024, according to the survey.

"Travelers feel safe planning and taking trips and vacations regardless of their vaccination status," said Dan Richards, CEO of The Global Rescue Companies. "Confidence in institutions recommending the vaccine and boosters has declined dramatically. We expect vaccine booster acceptance to continue to fall among travelers."

The U.S. Government has discontinued issuing new proof of COVID-19 vaccination cards. A few countries still require unvaccinated travelers to present negative COVID test results before entry.

The threat of other diseases also doesn’t appear to impact traveler behavior. When the Nipah virus, which has a fatality rate between 40 percent and 75 percent according to the CDC, broke out in India, almost no survey respondents reported delaying, postponing or canceling a trip to the country or anywhere else.

Air travel in 2023 is predicted to be up by nearly a third (29 percent) compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to a report by Statista, and international travel may close out the year up by as much as 50 percent, according to the International Air Transport Association.

Installation of travel hub kiosks at airports and other transportation centers is designed to move travelers through the check-in and ticketing process faster. More than half of respondents (53 percent) have used the kiosks, but nearly as many (47 percent) have yet to. Most (61 percent) said the booths sped up the check-in process, but 18 percent reported they would prefer to check in with a live agent. A minority (3 percent) said the kiosks were too complicated.

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