May 8, 2020 · Stuart Butler

Fuel Hotel Marketing Podcast: Episode 151 – Times Are A-Changing: Top 5 Shifts in Consumer Sentiment

Fuel has been conducting a series of studies to follow the change in consumer sentiment around COVID-19 travel. We have completed the second study, which included responses from over 10,000 North American leisure travelers, and in this episode, the Fueligans will discuss the biggest changes observed in answers in the 2 weeks since the first study was conducted.

Click Here For A Crisis Management Resources For Hotels Master List

Full study results here:
Key Data Changes

1 – Have you had a trip affected by the Coronavirus outbreak?

Both cancelations and rescheduled trips increased compared to our last survey. Combined they now sit at 66%, an increase of 18% in just 2 weeks. These results follow two weeks of increasingly bad news in terms of infection rates and deaths as a result of the virus, along with the announcement of beach closings in many popular destinations in Florida and all along the East Coast.


2 – Do you still intend to take a vacation in 2020 or 2021?

Those saying yes to 2020 increased from 60% to 65%.

3 – Which of the following would most likely persuade you to book a future vacation during the coronavirus outbreak?

In the first set of results, nearly 40% of respondents said that NOTHING could convince them to book a future vacation. In this round, that group dropped to 28%!
Additionally, nearly 60% said that flexibility to change dates without penalty would be reason to book, up from 49%.

4 – When do you intend to BOOK your future vacation? When do you intend to TRAVEL for your future vacation?

For booking, “after the threat has passed” responses shrunk from 44% to 35%, with May and June picking up the most traction. People are feeling more confident about booking trips, but not as much ready to travel.

5 – As a result of the coronavirus situation, which best describes you?

Last survey, 38% of respondents said they would spend less compared to 31% this time. These results could be impacted by several factors, including the receipt of stimulus checks from the U.S. government, along with an increase in certainty and job security as the economy begins to open up.

New Data Key Points

1 – How soon after the restrictions are lifted will you be willing to make the following trips?

For distances up to 6 hours of driving, at least 50% of consumers will be ready to travel within 3 months of restrictions being lifted. Flying comprised just 29% within a 3 month window.

2 – How soon after the restrictions are lifted will you be willing to travel to the following types of destination?

Destinations with open spaces were more likely to be visited earlier than densely populated areas, ski destinations, or foreign travel.
Stay tuned for the third round of results.

Hi Pete, Stuart & Michelle,
I am one of your podcast listeners, I have 2 questions that I am curious about.

  1. Suggestions & best food options for midscale hotels that provide breakfast Post COVID with also keeping in mind our all-important guest and their expectations?
  2. Also, where do you see the future of the midscale or economy hotel breakfast going?

Look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for your podcast and keep up the good work, & I am sorry some have to be in the closet, but whatever you gotta do to make it work, right.  Stay Safe!
Best Regards,
Mary from Colorado

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