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Americans are warming up to travel again, new survey finds
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Americans are warming up to travel again, new survey finds

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Afternoon partiers crowd into the sidewalk in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on March 4, 2021, as spring break is starting to ramp up on area beaches and bars.

Afternoon partiers crowd into the sidewalk in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on March 4, 2021, as spring break is starting to ramp up on area beaches and bars. (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS)

ORLANDO, Fla. — New daily coronavirus cases in the U.S. haven’t fallen below 50,000 since October, but Americans are signaling they’re ready to travel again, according to new polling from Destination Analysts.

Polls in February found 63.9% have a “travel readiness state-of-mind,” a record high for responses during the pandemic. Feelings of travel as generally unsafe fell to a pandemic low of 43.2%, with only 39.9% admitting to “travel guilt” or feeling bad about traveling.

More than 60% said they had engaged in some kind of “travel daydreaming and/or planning” in the last week.

In news that may be welcome for many Florida destinations, 12.4% of respondents said that have already made plans for spring break, with half of those saying they had plane tickets to fly more than 500 miles from home.

Some Florida beaches were crowded with students on spring break in 2020 as the pandemic was getting underway, leading to some early conversations on appropriate crowd sizes. Research tied hundreds of confirmed cases to spring break trips.

Nearly half of prospective travelers said they were likely to stay in hotels, up from 41% who said the same in March of last year.

Destination Analysts began surveying Americans about travel attitudes in March 2020.

In February, hotel occupancy in Orlando hit 50%, according to data analysts STR. Other than a jump in the week after Christmas, this was the highest occupancy rate for the area since last March.

STR said leisure travel would likely ramp up later this year, though they do not expect to see travel back at prepandemic levels until 2023.

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