Insights Collective – Pandemic Economic Think Tank - weekly briefing

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Most travelers prefer destinations that require face masks.  Fully 60 percent prefer destinations where masks are mandatory in public, and 20 percent of people will only visit such places.  Only 9 percent are less likely to visit a destination because of strict mask rules.  Source: Longwoods International (17-page PDF)

And why is that important… [Insights Collective] While masks have been a point of contention in several high-profile incidents, it is now clear that visitor attitudes have shifted conclusively in favor of places that make wearing them mandatory.  This is something any destination should consider when evaluating its own policies.


Intent to travel during 2020 has dropped to its lowest level yet.  A recent survey of consumers found only 28 percent planned to travel before the end of the year, down from 31 percent earlier this month and 47 percent in early June.  The decline in planned travel came as pessimism over COVID-19 increased, with only 26 percent of people believing the worst is behind us.  Source: H2R (15-page PDF)

And why is that important… [Insights Collective] The insights regarding customer attitudes can be a useful guide, but destinations should take local factors into consideration as well.  Our data suggests the better timeframe to re-start marketing efforts is when source markets are showing 14-days of declining COVID-19 cases. The Northeast has shown declining rates of positive COVID-19 cases, and Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Connecticut are exempt from testing and quarantine requirements.  As such, the state of Maine is spending $2 million to market itself as a safe tourism destination.  The campaign includes video ads targeting residents traveling within the state and those who might be visiting from those five, unrestricted and positively-trending states.


On 7/28, Senate Republicans joined their Congressional Republican colleagues in unveiling their version of a new stimulus bill.  The process was delayed after a tentative deal between the president and members of his party in Congress fell apart last week.  The proposal includes another round of $1,200 checks for qualifying taxpayers along with $100 billion in funding to encourage schools to reopen.  No details were released on an extension to unemployment benefits that expired over the weekend, however. Source:CNET

And why is that important… [Insights Collective] The U.S. still has 15 million fewer jobs today than before the coronavirus pandemic – making the additional round of stimulus valuable to working class families. The U.S. economy needs additional government support to continue its rebound from coronavirus-induced devastation.   


A CVB in Rhode Island is permanently closing one of its visitor centers.  Discover Newport will no longer operate the Gateway Visitors Center after 32 years of distributing information, tickets, and directions at the site.  The CVB is in discussions to continue leasing parts of the building for its sales and marketing team.  Source:

And why is that important… [Insights Collective] According to CVB officials in Newport, the decision to close a visitors’ center was accelerated by COVID-19 but was inevitable in the long run due to more fundamental trends.  This will be true for many changes that are made as a result of the pandemic, from cruise lines retiring old ships to shopping malls being sold and repurposed as different types of facilities.  One of the silver linings from the crisis may be the ability to make changes that are ultimately helpful but would have normally been too disruptive to make until necessary.



Insights Collective – Pandemic Economic Think Tank