Global Rescue Survey: Travel Is Back

August 17, 2021

Categories: Health, Safety, Travel Tips,

Global Rescue members, the most experienced travelers in the world, have their fingers on the pulse of the travel industry. 

Case in point: A February 2021 Global Rescue survey found a majority (69%) of respondents expect to go on their next overnight, multi-day domestic trip greater than 100 miles from home and 29% will travel internationally by June 2021.  

A recent Global Rescue survey, which polled more than 1,400 of its current and former members between July 27-31, 2021, found the predictions correct: nearly three-quarters of travelers (72%) have already taken their first multi-day domestic trip of the year and 26% have already taken their first international multi-day trip of the year. 

“Economic recovery and the return of travel and tourism is underway due to climbing COVID-19 vaccination levels and the gradual reduction in government quarantine and testing requirements,” said Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue and member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.  

More Survey Results 

Traveler confidence remains high: in both April 2021 and July 2021, nearly seven-out-of-10 respondents (76%) are “much less” or “less” concerned about travel health and safety.  

When border closings are not an issue, more than half of respondents (52%) said popular or crowded destinations would prevent them from traveling.  

According to Consumer Reports, 15% of travelers encounter a medical problem on their journey. It’s reasonable to assume the pandemic increased this percentage, with more travelers looking for testing facilities or medical centers with COVID-19 capabilities. This trepidation showed in our survey results, with a quarter of survey-takers (24%) reporting insufficient medical facilities in their destination would stop them from making a trip.  

“What’s in: care choosing destination. What’s out: any place that doesn’t have a quality response to COVID-19,” said a respondent from Gig Harbor, Washington. 

“There needs to be predictability when it comes to pandemic protocols related to entering and departing countries,” Richards said. “The regulations change quickly and often, with little advance public notice, and those practices prompt people to delay booking travel. These micro-economic impacts are emblematic of a larger challenge.” 

Responsible Travel 


No matter the term — sustainable travel, carbon neutral travel or regenerative travel — individuals, families and businesses are looking to travel responsibly and sustainably. The ecotourism industry worldwide was estimated at $181 billion in 2019 and is predicted to reach $333 billion in 2027, according to Statista.com, and 83% of travelers believe sustainable travel is important worldwide.   

Tourism has been a lifeline for many remote communities, with traveler dollars supporting the local economy. The pandemic and its travel restrictions created a tough spot for many destinations. With this in mind, 43% of Global Rescue survey respondents said they would pay a “Pandemic Recovery Fee” to travel to poorer countries suffering from dramatically negative economic impacts caused by COVID-19. Of those willing to pay such a fee:  

  • 17% would pay between $51 to $100 
  • 14% up to $50 
  • 12% between $101 to $250
  • 5% more than $250 

“In the U.S. and Europe, where a substantial portion of the world’s wealth and GDP is generated, we can start traveling again and exporting the economic benefits of tourism to other countries dependent on our travelers. Collaboration among international health and government officials to get vaccines to those locations is smart, but we can also restart our travel with those countries to help them get out of their economic crises,” said Richards. 

What Travelers Want 

Half of respondents said they would travel internationally where possible and a quarter (28%) said they would only travel domestically.  

Additional travel preferences of survey respondents include: 

  • 19% said they would take longer trips 
  • 21% said they would take advantage of discounts, deals and specials 
  • 16% said they would only travel to places with modern health care facilities
  • 10% would take extra trips
  • 8% said they would take less expensive trips. 

There’s a risk to being an early travel adopter, and travelers are doing more pre-travel research and planning, scheduling travel health consultations, and signing up for travel protection memberships.  

“Whether for business, personal or a blend of the two, people want travel intelligence before booking, including border closures, social distancing requirements, check-in procedures and documentation needs,” Richards said. “It’s not about novelty — it’s about trust and safety.” 

Travel safe and smart with a Global Rescue membership, which includes destination reports for 215 countries with up-to-date travel information — medical, security and intelligence data — in one place. It can also help travelers find coronavirus-capable hospitals and testing facilities or provide field rescue from the point of illness or injury to the nearest appropriate hospital, clinic or medical provider. Click here to learn more. 

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