It is interesting to see from this week’s travel sentiment study by Destination Analysts that although people are still as excited about traveling soon (45%) as in the last weeks, we are now seeing more uncertainty towards summer and fall travel. Without a clear reopening timeline for hotels and tourism from local and state governments, people are now tentatively planning increasingly further out such as September or October or even postponing travel plans to 2021. Easing this uncertainty as soon as possible will greatly impact people’s travel plans for the remainder of the year and help salvage the summer travel season to some degree, as we can see from the news coming from Europe and Asia.
Another factor that will greatly influence the ability to travel is the state of personal finances. As per DA’s latest research, travel as a budget priority for the next 12 months dropped from 70.6% during winter 2019/2020 to 27% now. In terms of destination type interest for the coming months, small towns and rural destinations lead now and we see upward trends for parks and mountain destinations. Sonoma County is certainly positioned well in this destination type preference.