Dhaka: People are travelling for leisure and taking vacations even when the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of subsiding in many countries. However, travellers are preferring to stay close to home and drive instead of going on international trips by planes, according to a survey on July 7 by software maker Oracle Corp.
About 51 per cent of people in North America and Latin America plan to book trips in the next six months, compared with 38 per cent in Asia and Europe, the survey said.
Due to travel restrictions and lengthy lockdowns in many countries to control the spread of the novel coronavirus, tens of thousands of hotels have closed and occupancy levels have fallen below 20 per cent for weeks, said Alex Alt, General Manager of Oracle Hospitality.
"One thing that's refreshing is that consumers want to travel," he added. "There is a resilience and an appetite to be on the road, to explore and to experience."
With US coastal towns being favourite destinations, occupancy among 600 US hotels that Oracle tracks has risen for five straight weeks and recently hit its highest levels since mid-March.
"I'd say the industry largely expects it to continue through the summer months," Alt said. "The key will be for the business travel to come back to complement that leisure travel."
COVID-19 cases have surged around the United States and the death toll has topped 130,000, prompting the European Union last week to exclude Americans travellers for its "safe" travel list.
To assuage concerns about infections, 90 per cent of hotels have increased or planned to increase cleaning and disinfecting. In addition, 70 per cent of hotels already are or are planning to adopt contactless technology for check-in, food ordering and concierge services, according to the survey.
Oracle surveyed 4,600 consumers and 1,800 hotel executives in the United States, Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany, Singapore and Australia in mid-April through early May.