US Travel Association Says Travel Is Back in New Campaign


The U.S. Travel Association is shifting the Let’s Go There campaign message from “When it’s time for you, we’ll be ready” to “Ready? So are we,” signaling that travel is set for a return.

“It’s time to stop dreaming, and start exploring. The moment has finally arrived when most of us can scratch the travel itch that’s been building in us for over a year,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. “Polling confirms that Americans are fired up to get back out on the road for a host of reasons. The 100 million or so Americans who are vaccinated need not have any lingering hesitation about booking that trip to get out and see the country this summer.”

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Improvements in the health landscape and a steady pace of vaccinations have reduced the risks of travel and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued formal guidance stating that domestic travel is safe for vaccinated individuals.

Julius Robinson, chief sales and marketing officer for Marriott International, Inc., and a member of the Let’s Go There coalition, said we can reclaim our time for vacations.

“The moment is here where we can say to travelers that we can finally stop dreaming and start getting out and exploring this great country of ours,” said Robinson. “I can tell you first hand that it’s more than the dollars and sense for us, our associates are excited to have our valued guests back. We have missed them tremendously.”

In a press conference, the U.S. Travel Association also addressed the results from its latest Harris Poll that revealed more positive news for the comeback of travel.

More than three-quarters of Americans (77 percent) plan to take a trip this summer, according to the most recent results. This is a dramatic shift from the same time in 2020 where just 29 percent of Americans had planned summer leisure travel.

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Other key findings suggest more positive trends for the travel industry:

—Two-thirds of Americans have a summer trip either already planned out (36 percent) or booked (30 percent).

—Of the Americans who have summer travel either planned or booked, more than half (53 percent) will be traveling for the very first time since the start of the pandemic.

—When thinking about traveling out of town right now, 55 percent of Americans responded they are either ready to go (26 percent) or optimistic (29 percent).

—When asked what they are most looking forward to about traveling this summer, “reconnecting with friends and family” (19 percent) was the top response given, followed closely by “rest and relaxation” (18 percent).

“This is a real shift in the Let’s Go campaign messaging. We are now actively encouraging Americans to finally take that long-awaited vacation or getaway,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, executive vice president of public affairs and policy at the U.S. Travel Association. We will continue to emphasize health and safety, partly because we simply can’t afford to have any backsliding.”

Barnes noted that U.S. Travel is actively encouraging Americans to get vaccinated and that that is the best way to move the country forward.

She also noted that the association supports testing incoming international arrivals but believes that it should be amended to exempt vaccinated travelers.

The U.S. Travel Association also supports mask requirements on public transportation and on airplanes, airports. On the heels of the press conference, the CDC relaxed masking guidelines for vaccinated people, and it remains to be seen how that guidance will affect travelers.

One of the areas of travel where the association is looking for consistency in messaging from the CDC is in business travel and the meetings and events industry.

Dow pointed out that meetings and events can be held very safely.

“When you have a professional meeting or gathering, you can basically control the registration, the spacing, seating, all of those things. It’s a very controlled environment, a very safe environment. We are going to continue to press the administration on that.”

While business travel and rules on meetings and events remain murky, there is no denying that Americans are ready to hit the road this summer and Robinson noted that Marriott is ready to welcome visitors.

“With summer just weeks away, we know travelers are ready to go—whether that means exploring favorite destinations they missed over the past year, discovering new outdoor activities, or reconnecting with their families,” said Robinson. “At Marriott, we are excited to continue to support this industry-wide effort as Americans begin to enjoy summer travel once again, as well as think about their 2022 vacation plans and the future travel experiences that await them.”





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