Tourism research: Half of US travelers are making 2022 travel plans despite COVID

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Tourism research: Half of US travelers are making 2022 travel plans despite COVIDAccording to OAAA & The Harris Poll

According to new research, COVID is no longer standing in the way of most future consumer travel this winter. Nearly half of travelers (48%) are saying that they have either already made travel plans for the first half of 2022 or intend to do so in short order once they decide on a destination. In comparison, just 27 percent of adults say they are waiting to see what happens with COVID before working out a plan for their winter travel.

These are just a few of the key insights from "OOH Media Opportunities: Consumer Insights and Intent - Early 2022," the latest research report from the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), conducted in partnership with The Harris Poll. OAAA is the national trade association for the entire out-of-home (OOH) and digital OOH media ecosystem.

Findings show that confidence in air travel is up. The number of travelers willing to hop on a plane during the first half of 2022 has more than doubled since the 2020 holiday season, up from 24 percent to 51 percent.

The same encouraging trend is playing out on the local level, as 43 percent of Americans say that their local travel plans will either return to normal or even increase. Over a quarter (27%) report their travel plans will be similar to pre-COVID times, albeit it with more of a focus on trips closer to home – an increase from the 19 percent who said the same during the winter of 2021), In addition, 11 percent plan to increase the number of trips they take and the distance they travel – versus 9 percent at this time last year.

With more people on the move this holiday season, OOH advertising provides a compelling opportunity for brands and marketers to reach consumers who are coming out of the pandemic with fresh eyes and an increased appetite for outdoor and shared experiences. Those who say they notice OOH "much more" is up significantly from September 2020, a 9-point surge. Specifically, consumers find out of home ads about retail (63%), fast food (62%), and food and beverage (60%) to be most relevant to their interests.

Urbanites in larger cities of at least 1 million are particularly open to OOH experiences. As of October 2021, 64 percent say they notice billboards, outdoor video screens, posters signage and other forms of OOH.

Overall, 85 percent of those who say they noticed OOH ads also find them to be useful, including for finding out about special offers and promotions (42%) or learning about a new business or service (29%).

Meanwhile, although digital consumption has grown greatly during the pandemic, more than 60 percent of Americans say they frequently skip online ads due to digital device burnout.

"With lockdown in the rearview, travelers are doing more than embracing the prospect of travel – they're booking trips and becoming increasingly comfortable traveling further afield," said Anna Bager, President and CEO, OAAA. "This survey makes it abundantly clear that advertisers need to pay attention to out-of-home advertising as consumer journeys are returning to pre-COVID conditions, with the added ingredient of greater OOH awareness."

"Not only are Americans ready to travel, they're ready to consume and learn about new products – but their focus on online advertising is eroding," said John Gerzema, CEO, The Harris Poll. "That's why OOH has a big opportunity to take on renewed resonance as people travel, both locally and longer distances, and spend more time outside. Marketers should pay attention to this trend, especially in the leadup to the holiday season."

"OOH Media Opportunities: Consumer Insights and Intent - Early 2022" was sponsored by The Foundation for Outdoor Advertising Research and Education (FOARE), a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit, charitable organization.

To review the findings, go to

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

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