The travel industry has been heavily impacted by the pandemic. The amount of passengers aboard international and national flights has decreased by significant numbers due to lockdown regulations and people’s concerns for their health. But there is light at the end of the tunnel for travel; according to new data, a large percentage of older people have started booking flights and planning stays.
Data gathered from airlines, cruises and booking sites show that older Americans are making travel plans, more so than other demographics. Jim Drayer, 69, and his wife Cheryl, 72, explained to The New York Times that they hunkered down over the past year, avoiding travel and restaurants. After inoculations they decided to book flights to Maui.
“We’ve very willingly been compliant with masking and social distancing, and have basically lived inside of our bubble here in Dallas,” said Mr. Drayer. “We haven’t been inside a restaurant in a year. So we’re anxious to get out now and do things a little more safely.”
The Drayers said they chose Maui because it’s far and provides a much needed break for them, with Hawaii being one of the best states in the U.S. when it comes to infection rates. “We didn’t want to end up quarantined in a foreign country or not allowed back in the United States. This felt like a safe place to go, where we were still in the United States.”
While health officials ask those who’ve been vaccinated to wear their masks and comply with coronavirus guidelines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that those who are inoculated and have been exposed to COVID-19 don’t need to quarantine — a marked change when compared to other travelers. The CDC does, however, recommend that Americans who’ve been vaccinated wait for about three months before making their travel plans.
The travel industry is expecting some changes in the coming year, with much talk of a Vaccine Passport. This digital document would work across different countries and will supply with health and government officials with all of the information they need, whether that’s proof of vaccination or the latest negative test results.