How Will COVID-19 Impact New York Travel and Tourism in 2020?

As with many industries, COVID-19 has and will inevitably impact the travel and tourism sector in New York. To effectively measure and moderate changes in Upstate New York travel, our market research company partnered with ABC Creative in a custom PR survey.

Drive Research conducted an online survey with 1,000 New York State residents (excluding NYC and counties past Westchester) to collect feedback on future travel and tourism habits as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Market research is a great way to steer strategy, especially during a time when consumer behavior is changing drastically day-to-day.

Rather than making assumptions about these changes, it is important to gather factual data to fuel strategies and decision-making. 

Learn more about this study, key findings, and how to use the results!

How Will COVID-19 Impact New York Travel and Tourism in 2020?


Upstate New Yorkers will prefer to travel using their vehicles.

The results showed seven out of ten respondents (72%) said they would prefer to travel by their personal vehicle rather than by plane, train, bus or cruise ship later this year when quarantines and stay at home guidelines end. 

How to leverage these results:

Traveling locally means opportunities for small businesses to ramp up offerings and consider how to cater to preferences once stay at home guidelines end.

We will see increased communication about sanitization practices, crowd control, and other measures to prevent unnecessary contact. 

Consider a customer survey to find out what services/measures local residents or a national audience would like to see offered from businesses.

Getting ahead of these requests will also put you ahead of the competition and leave a lasting impression.  

Not sure what to ask in a customer survey? Our New York market research company shares four examples in this video.


Upstate New Yorkers will avoid crowds, travel locally, and avoid flights.

Respondents were asked how their travel habits would change once stay at home guidelines end.

Top responses included:

  • Avoiding crowds (58%)
  • Traveling locally (56%)
  • Avoiding flights (54%)

How can this data be used?  

Destinations will have an opportunity to cater to local residents rather than travelers and tourists. Knowing people are itching to get out of their homes, they will be looking for safe options within the area they live in.

Ways to create fun and creative experiences will surely catch the eye of locals.

Consider using online focus groups or community surveys to find out what services, products, or activities they want to see offered. 


Top travel destinations for Update New Yorkers were state parks, lakes, and shopping 

Survey takers were asked what their top travel destinations within New York State would be once quarantines and stay at home guidelines end.

Popular destinations included:

  • State parks (54%)
  • Lakes (48)
  • Shopping (41%)

What next steps should be taken?

It will be important for state parks, lakes, and shopping centers to consider ways to keep visitors safe even when stay at home guidelines end.

Visitors will want to see statements and signage about additional measures to be taken to ensure cleanliness and crowd-level.

Social media and websites will be an important communication method to spread awareness of these initiatives. Consider conducting website market research to evaluate key improvement and priority areas based on site visitor feedback.


Gen Z is more likely to travel sooner compared to older generations

Gen Z respondents were more likely to say they’d travel as soon as possible or wait a few weeks to travel once stay at home guidelines end.

Older generations were more likely to say they’d wait a few months to travel once stay at home guidelines end. 

Our travel and tourism market research company recommends taking these next steps:

Local businesses may want to create strategies to better engage Gen Z locals knowing they are going to be looking to travel sooner than older generations.

Consider creating marketing initiatives to better connect with this audience online such as social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

Wondering how to create a marketing strategy like this? Use advertising market research.


How relevant and accurate are these results?

The survey received 1,000 responses from household travel decision-makers in Upstate New York State. 

Fieldwork began on April 13 and lasted until April 16, 2020. The survey took an average of 4 minutes to complete and included 22 questions.

With a probabilistic sample, a total of 1,000 responses at the 95% confidence level offers a 3.1% margin of error

In other words, if the PR survey were conducted with another random pool of 1,000 household travel decision-makers in New York State, results would yield within +3.1% or -3.1% of the stated totals in the reports. 

The margin of error can be used as a guideline to understand the high reliability of these results.

Learn more about the key findings and report from this study! 


Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a national market research company, headquartered in New York. Our team specializes in custom PR surveys for a variety of industries and businesses across the county.

Interested in learning more about PR surveys such as the approach, process, and cost? Check out our ultimate guide, here.

Or! Contact us through any of the four ways below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at info@driveresearch.com
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

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