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“Deloitte” is the brand under which tens of thousands of dedicated professionals in independent firms throughout the world collaborate to provide audit & assurance, consulting, risk and financial advisory, risk management, tax, and related services to select clients. These firms are members of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”). Each DTTL member firm provides servi...

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Deloitte: Forty Percent of Americans Plan Leisure Trips This Summer

Deloitte: Forty Percent of Americans Plan Leisure Trips This Summer

Key Takeaways More than a year into the pandemic, there is optimism for the travel industry. Four in 10 Americans plan to take at least one vacation this summer, a percentage similar to pre-pandemic summer travel of 2019. A desire for health safety continues to weigh on travelers more so than finances. At least 75% of travelers are considering factors such as COVID-19 restrictions, crowd avoidance, vaccination status, social distancing and CDC guidelines when selecting their vacation destination. However, adventurers are willing to pay for an escape. More than 60% of travelers will spend about the same on their summer trips compared to 2019; only 13% will spend significantly less. Over half of work from home travelers (56%) will be adding three or more days to their trips. Work from home travelers are twice as likely as other travelers to increase trip budgets over 2019. Why this matters After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions, financial concerns, and the stress of virtual work and school, the summer travel season is back. According to Deloitte's new report, "Keen But Cautious: U.S. Travel in COVID's Second Summer," Americans of all ages and income levels are ready to get away and are making travel plans. The study is based on a survey of more than 2,000 Americans fielded during the week of April 17-24, who expect to take a trip that includes a flight and/or a stay in paid lodging between Memorial Day and the end of September. The responses focus on the longest trip these travelers plan to take and underscores new optimism for the travel industry, despite continued health considerations. Despite travel optimism, health concerns still linger While many Americans are ready for a summer vacation, lingering health concerns continue to impact travel decisions. According to Deloitte's Global State of the Consumer Tracker, COVID-19 remains a leading driver of anxiety even as its lead over financial stress continues to wane. As a result, travelers are incorporating criteria into their travel plans that they would not have considered prior to the pandemic. And for those not traveling, health concerns (41%) are a bigger reason than financial concerns (30%) to stay home this summer. Nearly three-quarters of Americans (71%) planning to travel expect at least half of their party to be vaccinated at the time of their trip. However, uncertainty around vaccine penetration and infection rates, as well as local attraction capacity and quarantine mandates, is affecting travel plans. Despite ongoing health concerns, more than a quarter of travelers (27%) plan to visit a city on their summer vacation. Beaches lead all destinations (34%), followed by the great outdoors (18%). Moreover, vacation spending is rebounding, with trip budgets similar to summer 2019. For those willing to spend more than two years ago, middle- to higher-income households are re-prioritizing experiences (35%), just as lower-income Americans are redirecting savings for travel (41%). Demand for air travel soars While concerns about air travel persisted throughout the pandemic, demand for flights is now on the rise. More than half (55%) of American travelers say their longest trip this summer will include a flight. Amid Transportation Safety Administration reports of increased passenger volume, consumers are also considering new factors for mitigating the health and financial risks of flying. Most domestic flyers will opt for a nonstop flight. Only 11% of passengers surveyed are considering a domestic itinerary that includes at least one connection, most likely to reduce exposure to airport crowds. International travel is on the rise as well. More than 1 in 4 (27%) respondents plan to take an international flight this summer, underscoring the lure of global destinations despite continued health concerns. While 69% of the respondents will reserve their flight directly through an airline's website, more than half of travelers (57%) have not booked any aspect of their trip yet. Only 18% say they will leverage an online travel agency to book the flight for their longest trip this summer. Although price is the main purchase driver for flights, new pandemic-driven factors are having an impact as well, including cancelation or rebooking policies, the availability of direct flights, and airline safety protocols. Key quote "As many Americans return to the skies this summer, the impacts of the pandemic continue to influence the entire travel experience, from the time of booking to landing at the final destination. And although travelers are proceeding with caution, airlines have plenty to be optimistic about with summer travel intent near pre-pandemic levels. Still, with ongoing health concerns, airlines should remain flexible to accommodate shifting preferences for direct flights, as well as last-minute reservation and flight changes." Anthony Jackson, principal, Deloitte & Touche LLP and U.S. airlines leader Private rentals surge during the pandemic While hotels are the leading form of lodging for most travelers, the pandemic has increased demand for private rentals. Both hotels and private rentals provide varying benefits to attract travelers and enhance their experience. However, this presents the opportunity to convert first-time private renters into regular customers beyond the summer months. A majority of summer travelers (85%) will stay in a hotel, compared to 23% who will opt for a private rental. More than a quarter (28%) of rental travelers have stayed at a private rental for the first time during the pandemic or plan to this summer. Furthermore, two-thirds of pandemic-minted renters say they expect to stay in rentals for at least half of future trips. Choosing where to stay is about more than location. For hotel guests, 89% cited enhanced safety measures as the main reason for their selection. Meanwhile, for those booking a private rental, 86% are driven by an amplified sense of control over COVID-19 exposure and their own safety. Supply of private rentals is an ongoing issue that leads rental travelers to cross-shop three and a half times more than hotel travelers. For example, 53% of rental travelers will consider a hotel for their trip, compared to just 15% of hotel travelers considering rentals. The lure of a luxurious hotel experience and loyalty rewards are contributing factors as well. An added boon for both the hotel and private rental sectors, Americans who work from home are more likely to extend their summer vacations to work remotely. Over half of work from home travelers (56%) will add three or more days to their vacations, and they are twice as likely to spend more on travel compared with summer 2019, and 1.7 times as likely to plan international travel. Key quote "The pent-up demand for travel, coupled with the flexibility of remote working options, will drive more Americans to hotels and private rentals this summer, as an escape from the everyday. Lodging suppliers have been diligently adapting their policies and offerings since the pandemic began — they should continue to ease traveler safety concerns, instill confidence, bring back the joy of travel and, ultimately, drive loyalty." Ramya Murali, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and U.S. hospitality sector leader Connect with us on Twitter @DeloitteCB or on LinkedIn @AnthonyJackson and @RamyaMurali.

Other announcement

Deloitte: Quantifying the Economic Impact of Closing the Digital Divide

Key takeaways Additional broadband coverage, adoption, and speed is accretive for incremental growth of U.S. jobs and GDP, making the case for investment. A 10 percentage-point increase in broadband penetration in 2016 would have resulted in more than 806,000 additional jobs in 2019, or an average annual increase of 269,000 jobs. More than 875,000 additional U.S. jobs and $186 billion more in economic output would have occurred in 2019 had there been a 10 percentage-point increase in broadband access in 2014. Adding 10 Mbps to average download speeds in 2016 would have resulted in 139,400 additional jobs in 2019; however, the analysis also indicates diminishing returns with the rate of job growth slowing as speeds continue to increase. Why this matters The COVID-19 pandemic forced much of the U.S. population to trade classrooms, offices and conference rooms for at-home screens. Many Americans were left stranded by inadequate or unaffordable access to internet connectivity or mobile devices. This reality has resulted in a pivotal moment for the U.S. economy, with financial prosperity, educational opportunities and personal/professional productivity, depending on reliable, affordable and fast internet connectivity for all. More than $100 billion of infrastructure investment has been allocated by the U.S. government over the past decade to address this issue; however, the digital divide still presents a significant gap. Deloitte today released a new report titled, "Broadband for all: charting a path to economic growth," that uses economic models to evaluate the relationship between broadband and economic growth. It proposes a geographic segmentation that distinguishes the specific needs of different under-served geographies, better reflecting their unique challenges. The report also provides insights into the benefits associated with various broadband speeds and adoption rates in order to optimize economic and social benefits, while reducing inefficiencies. Investment doesn't always equate to outcomes Optimism over the past 10 years that billions of private and public investment in underserved geographies for broadband access and adoption would help close the digital divide has waned as outcomes have often disappointed. Previous programs increased the number of people with access to the FCC's definition of broadband by less than 1% (<1%; 1.6 million people) between 2014 and 2019, partially as a result of the changing definition of broadband. The report notes: Between 2010 and 2020, federal programs including USAC and Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, among others, spent approximately $107 billion. In 2014, the last year of the 4 Mbps downlink benchmark, 16 million Americans (approximately 5% of the U.S. population) did not have broadband services that met that standard. In 2019, after five years and approximately $54 billion, 14.4 million Americans did not have broadband that met the new FCC speed threshold (25 Mbps downlink). Key quote "The pandemic hastened the pace of a decades-long trend in which innovative applications are increasingly essential to enhancing educational opportunities, organizing our lives, connecting with colleagues and friends, improving workplace productivity and enriching the quality of lives. If large segments of our population lack the necessary communications infrastructure to participate, progress will be increasingly difficult." − Dan Littmann, principal, technology, media and telecommunications, Deloitte Consulting LLP The digital divide has significant economic impact For years government, industry and academics have discussed the societal impact produced by closing the digital divide. To better understand the relationship between broadband and the U.S. economy, Deloitte developed economic models using publicly available information. The report's economic models confirmed three hypotheses: Increased broadband penetration leads to economic growth: Deloitte's analysis indicates that a 10 percentage-point increase of broadband penetration in 2016 would have resulted in more than 806,000 additional jobs in 2019, or an average annual increase of 269,000 jobs. The report notes that broadband can allow for greater access to formal education, as well as expand the types of jobs available in a region, thereby raising the level of skills. Greater broadband availability leads to economic growth: Deloitte found a strong correlation between broadband availability and jobs, as well as GDP growth. The report notes that a 10 percentage-point increase in broadband access in 2014, would have resulted in more than 875,000 additional U.S. jobs and $186 billion more in economic output in 2019. That is an average of 175,000 jobs and $37.2 billion in output per year. Greater penetration of higher speed broadband leads to economic growth: Deloitte's analysis also shows that adoption of higher speeds drives noticeable improvements in job growth. Adding 10 Mbps to average download speeds in 2016 would have resulted in 139,400 additional jobs in 2019 or about 46,500 additional jobs per year. While the analysis shows that increasing speeds lead to greater job growth, it also indicates diminishing returns, with the rate of job growth slowing as speeds continue to increase. The report notes that this is a significant consideration. Diminishing returns should be considered when evaluating future speed mandates. Key quote "When it comes to the public or private broadband investments to close the digital divide, the economic benefits are clear, but will require stakeholders to navigate potentially competing priorities across emerging technologies that can meet needs in the near-term, the long-term desires for faster speeds, and financial support for devices and in-home equipment." − Jack Fritz, principal, technology, media and telecommunications, Deloitte Consulting LLP

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