Americans Have Travel Itch Amid Continued Lockdowns: Good News for US Casinos

Posted on: April 22, 2020, 11:22h. 

Last updated on: April 22, 2020, 12:12h.

Travel has become basically nonexistent in the United States over the past two months, resulting in nearly one in two Americans saying they’re itching to get out of their house and on the road.

US travel coronavirus pandemic
Many Americans are becoming increasingly restless and want to travel soon. (Image: Left Eye Images/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Every commercial casino in the US remains closed. The American Gaming Association (AGA) says if the mass closures persist for eight weeks, the US economy will be reduced by $43.5 billion in economic activity.

While some states are beginning to ease certain restrictions and allow some nonessential businesses to reopen, there is no concrete timetable as to when the first commercial casino might turn their slot machines back on and welcome gamblers to table games.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that a new study finds Americans are eager to travel.

Piplsay, a research firm focused on consumer sentiments, surveyed more than 30,000 American adults earlier this month. Asked whether they plan to travel as soon as their COVID-19 lockdown or stay-at-home order is lifted, 46 percent answered “Yes.”

Nineteen percent responded, “No, not so soon,” 18 percent said, “I don’t plan to travel this year,” and 17 percent were unsure.

Guests Wanted

When casino resorts are allowed to reopen, it might be difficult to find guests.

The Piplsay findings suggest at least half of all Americans won’t be immediately booking a trip. “People who think you can just say, ‘We’re open,’ and suddenly these hotels are going to be filled don’t understand how the hotel industry works,” said Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D).

The virus is here to stay for a long time. Given its nature and spread, I think it is best to avoid any unnecessary travel this year,” said one respondent.

Not everyone agrees. Piplsay found that 54 percent of those in the Millennial demographic and 49 percent of Gen Z respondents are willing to travel once permitted by government authorities. “Being stuck at home has been really frustrating. I miss my family and plan to visit them once the lockdown lifts,” said another to Piplsay.

Trusted Travel, Hospitality

Perhaps the best news of the pandemic travel study is that more than half of Americans trust the travel and hospitality industries to implement adequate safeguards to protect against the coronavirus.

“Would you trust the travel and hospitality industry to follow all COVID-19 related safety protocols?” resulted in 53 percent answering “Yes,” to 28 percent “No.” Nineteen percent were unsure.

Oxford Economics said recently that Nevada is the second-most vulnerable state when it comes to the social and economic impact of COVID-19. Analysts cited the fact that the Silver State is “most reliant on travel and tourism to sustain its economy.”

Sisolak gave no firm update yesterday as to when Nevada might begin reopening. “We’re doing everything we can to open up the economy as quickly as possible. But I will only do that when we meet the criteria set forth for gating and moving into phase one,” the governor declared.