By CBSMiami.com Team

TAMPA (CBSMiami) — A new AAA travel survey, conducted in January, reveals that 60 percent of Floridians are uncomfortable traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic. The main concerns are:

  • Fears of getting sick (60%)
  • New strains of the virus (60%)
  • The number of Covid-19 cases (59%)

The travel industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. Over two-thirds of Floridians (68%) canceled or rescheduled travel plans in 2020. Currently, nearly half (49%) of Floridians are comfortable staying in a hotel, while only 32 percent feel comfortable taking a commercial flight. The majority (83%) feel most comfortable traveling in their personal vehicle.

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Treatment and Knowledge Fuels Optimism

With more known about the virus and how it spreads, there appears to be growing confidence among some travelers. Nearly a quarter (22%) of Floridians say they are more comfortable traveling now than when the pandemic began, 7 percentage points more than when AAA last surveyed in October. Their growing confidence was attributed to:

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  • The implementation of mask use and cleaning policies (38%)
  • More confidence in medical treatment and outcomes (34%)
  • More knowledge about how the virus spreads (28%)
  • Having taken a trip without contracting the virus (24%)

This year, nearly two-thirds of Floridians (63%) plan to take at least one vacation of 3 days or more. Nearly half (46%) of respondents plan to take multiple trips – up 20 percentage points from 2020. However, 2 in 5 residents say they will feel more comfortable traveling after receiving both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine (42%) and when cases begin to decrease (40%).

“The COVID-19 vaccine truly is the key to restoring Americans’ confidence in traveling again,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “With health experts predicting widespread vaccinations by the summer, AAA Travel Advisors are seeing growing interest in bookings for the second half of the year.”

Additional survey highlights:

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  • 77% will wear a mask in public while traveling
  • 41% are more likely to visit a destination with a mask mandate
  • 49% are driving less due to the pandemic (37% – no change in driving habits)
  • 39% are more likely to purchase travel insurance than before the pandemic
  • 68% will not travel in Q1 (54% cite the pandemic as a reason why)

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in Florida from January 15 – 24, 2021.  A total of 400 residents completed the survey.  Survey results asked of all respondents have a maximum margin of error of ± 4.9% points.  Responses are weighted by age and gender to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Florida.

CBSMiami.com Team