Few industries were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as much as travel and hospitality. Now the industry is preparing for a summer travel season like no other, with millions of Americans itching to escape their homes to travel and relax — and with safety at top of mind for many.
To better understand consumer trust in travel and hospitality, Morning Consult surveyed 4,400 U.S. adults to gauge their overall trust in this industry and to learn how trust is built—and how it’s broken.
As an expansion of the Morning Consult’s Most Trusted Brands landscape report, this report provides a framework for travel and hospitality brands looking to build trust with consumers as travel ramps back up, how to avoid undermining it, and lay the foundation for our ongoing coverage of trust across key subcategories.
Eight of the top 10 most trusted travel and hospitality brands are hotels or resorts, with only one airline on the list: Southwest Airlines. Thirteen of the 20 top most trusted travel and hospitality brands are hotels.
For consumer trust, the coronavirus pandemic was a net positive for the travel industry: Brands overall are exiting the pandemic with higher consumer net trust than when they entered it.
But it’s clear that the pandemic has made health and cleanliness even more important for maintaining trust with customers. “Regularly sanitizing and cleaning” was among survey’s top 10 drivers of trust.
65% of U.S. adults say they would stop purchasing from a brand if it did not follow safety precautions. Another 62% say the same if the company failed to regularly clean.
Business travel is coming back with 58% of business travelers saying they are traveling this summer for work. That figure should encourage those in the travel industry but also keep them on their toes: Business travelers demand more out of the brands they patronize, and their trust is broken more easily.