New research highlights summer travel trends amid the pandemic

New research highlights summer travel trends amid the pandemic

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Service Management Group (SMG), a global customer, patient and employee experience management partner to more than 500 brands, has introduced new research to help convenience store brands understand how the pandemic is impacting summer travel plans.

Using BrandGeek®—SMG’s market intelligence tool and the fastest, most accurate source of behavioral data linked to customer feedback in real time—SMG collected feedback from more than 7,600 respondents and has identified three themes likely to define the summer travel season.

1. The pandemic is foiling travel plans – Despite states reopening, consumers remain quite cautious about travel. Sixty-eight percent of respondents plan to travel less than they did last summer, and 86 percent report the pandemic has impacted at least some of their summer travel plans. As expected, the more concerned a respondent was about contracting coronavirus, the more likely their travel plans were altered.

2. Summer travel will be grounded – Though summer is traditionally a peak time for air travel, 71 percent of respondents are less likely to travel by plane than they were last summer. While 55 percent of consumers expressed concern about catching the coronavirus while traveling, the majority of respondents who indicated they are not concerned about catching the virus reported they are less likely to travel by plane this summer.

3. Travelers will prioritize health and safety – Throughout the pandemic, research has shown cleanliness is king, and the convenience industry is no exception. When asked which of the following matters more to you now when deciding to visit a convenience store compared to before the coronavirus pandemic, 55 percent of respondents chose cleanliness of location, followed by convenience of location [48 percent] and fuel prices [41 percent].

“As states reopen, the majority of consumers are expressing a desire to play it safe throughout the summer,” said SMG Senior Vice President of Research Paul Tiedt. “The data indicates consumers are prioritizing cleanliness and safety, choosing brands they trust and doing what they can to limit their exposure to others.”

About Service Management Group
SMG inspires experiences that improve people’s lives. We are a catalyst for change, providing actionable customer, patient, and employee insights that boost loyalty and drive business outcomes. Our unique model puts a dual focus on platform technology and professional services—making it easier to collect, analyze, and share feedback and behavioral data across the enterprise. To learn more about our customer experience management, employee experience, and brand research solutions, visit