THE WAR IN Ukraine and lingering concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic are making some travelers nervous, according to a survey from risk and crisis response provider Global Rescue. Still, Global Rescue found that fewer people are experiencing hesitancy about travel.
About 71 percent of respondents to Global Rescue’s Spring 2022 Traveler Safety and Sentiment Survey said they are somewhat concerned, concerned or much more concerned about international travel since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. The remaining 29 percent said they are not concerned at all.
The respondents’ destinations also caused some anxiety as well as returning to travel after two years of pandemic-related travel restrictions. At the same time, 89 percent of respondents said the war in Ukraine has not changed their travel plans and 70 percent are not experiencing any re-entry to travel anxiety. An even larger majority, 84 percent, of survey takers report they are less or much less concerned about travel today compared to the beginning of the pandemic.
Attitudes are improving, said Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue.
“In January 2021, 55 percent of respondents said they were more or much more concerned about travel. Today, 45 percent fewer travelers are expressing travel hesitancy,” Richards said. “The recent survey reveals less than a third, 30 percent, of travelers are experiencing re-entry to travel anxiety,”
While COVID-19 remains a concern with international travelers, for 59 percent of respondents it is more a desire to avoid testing positive and being stranded in a foreign country rather than the potential threat of a severe illness. Also, 15 percent said producing a negative COVID-19 test to meet U.S. re-entry requirements is their main concern.
“Most travelers, 78 percent, do not consider the threat of future COVID-19 variants significant enough to make them cancel or postpone international travel this year,” Richards said. “More than half of respondents, 56 percent, already have traveled internationally since the pandemic with 35 percent expecting to travel abroad before the end of the year.”
In other, previously released results from the survey, about 32 percent of respondents said the U.S. government should immediately eliminate for everyone the pre-departure tests for fully vaccinated inbound international travelers to the U.S. Also, 34 percent said the requirement should be removed for U.S. citizens but not non-citizens.
Global Rescue is a member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board at the U.S. Department of Commerce.