From Thanksgiving to Independence Day, Christmas to New Year, Americans have had to forgo traveling at some of the busiest times of the year as a result of the pandemic raging in the US and around the world. Spring break appears to be the latest casualty, with recent data suggest that only 12% of Americans intend on traveling during the period. From fear of traveling to postponing the festivities, here’s why so few have decided to travel, as well as a closer look at the situation in two popular spring break destinations.
Spring break Cancelled? Why Travelers Are Staying Put
Spring break is an immensely popular time for Americans to travel and, prior to the pandemic, the number of travelers was rising year on year. In 2019 – the last full year that was unaffected by Covid-19 – the number of travelers during the spring period between March 14th and April 28th set new records. More than 108 million passengers and crew traveled, with LAX the most popular airport during this time, having seen 5.3 million screened by the TSA.
Unfortunately for those in the travel industry, the figures are much lower for 2021’s spring period. A poll taken last week by the US Travel Association revealed that as few as 16% of Americans were planning to travel for spring break – a number that fell as low as 12% when the poll was ran once more this week.
The poll suggests that, despite states beginning to ease back on their Covid-related restrictions, many are still wary of traveling during the pandemic due to the threat of catching the virus. The US Travel Association said that it was “far from clear when demand for travel will rebound on its own,” and summarized that perhaps Americans were deferring their travel plans until more people received the vaccination.
The same poll asked those intending to travel for spring break what their reasons for doing so were. The results were:
- Relax and escape stress (73%)
- Spending time with family (71%)
- Escape boredom (71%)
- Visit new places or destinations (68%)
- Get away from daily life (67%)
Spring Break – The Perspective From Top Destinations
Despite the findings of the poll, some of the most popular spring break destinations are bracing themselves for a flurry of activity in the coming weeks. Cancun, an extremely popular destination for spring break, has gone as far as to ease its restrictions to cater for an influx of travelers during the period.
The governor announced that the state epidemiological light will change from orange to yellow, which means occupancy limits in hotels, restaurants and beaches will be increased to 60%. However, nightclubs, bars, discos and night entertainment venues must remain closed. Further details on restrictions can be found here.
Closer to home, Miami is also gearing up for a busy few weeks following a dramatic increase in the number of hotel bookings in the area. A traditional spring break hotspot, Miami has seen hotel occupancy rates reach 90% for weekend bookings, but travelers will also be subjected to Covid-19 related restrictions. Miami Beach will have a curfew from 12AM to 6AM, and beaches will be subjected to capacity limits and an alcohol ban. However, despite the restrictions and the pandemic, the 2021 spring break season is expected to see Miami at its busiest since Covid-19 first hit the US.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories