New MMGY barometers track travelers' perceptions of safety

MMGY Global launched its new Travel Safety Barometer, a sentiment tracking tool created for the travel and tourism industry to monitor American travelers’ perceptions of how safe it is to engage in specific travel behaviors as the country embarks on its reopening and recovery efforts. The barometer, designed by MMGY’s Travel Intelligence research and insights division, is an informational resource for both business and leisure travelers and the industry as the coronavirus continues to fundamentally change when, where and how we feel comfortable traveling.

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The MMGY Global Travel Safety Barometer measures Americans’ perceptions of safety on a scale from 0 (extremely unsafe) to 100 (extremely safe). It is based on a nationally representative survey of all active travelers in the country that is conducted monthly using MMGY Global’s proprietary Travel Intentions Pulse database. Barometer metrics are published for both domestic and international travel, as well as category-specific metrics for transportation, lodging, cruising, dining and entertainment.

“Travelers’ perceptions of safety are shaped by everything from the latest news headlines and personal experiences to social media,” said Chris Davidson, executive VP of insights and strategy, MMGY Travel Intelligence. “The Travel Safety Barometer will highlight how consumer perceptions of safety evolve as states, countries and travel-related businesses cautiously begin to reopen, allowing the industry to adjust their operational and marketing strategies accordingly to meet consumer needs.”

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Currently, all data are pointing to domestic leisure travel within the U.S. recovering before business and international travel, according to MMGY. The latest wave of Travel Intentions Pulse data (collected May 1-6, 2020) used to create the baseline for the barometer showed that respondents’ overall perceptions of domestic travel safety is still low on the scale, with international travel scoring even lower. Highlights include:

  • Domestic travel safety scores low at 34, and international travel earns a score of just 22.
  • Driving in a personal vehicle has propelled the MMGY Global Transportation Barometer to 56.
  • Business Travel Safety and Cruise Safety barometers’ scores are below 30, signaling a more challenging recovery for these industry segments.
  • Lodging, dining and entertainment are similarly tracking with scores in the low to mid-30s.

“There is much work to be done by the industry to put in place measures to protect the public’s health and well-being,” Davidson said. “Once this is accomplished, the next challenge becomes how will destinations, hotels, airlines, cruises and other travel businesses provide peace of mind to travelers who perceive them to be unsafe.”