Travel, spending down for Independence Day: Survey

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Roughly three in four Americans will spend less this Fourth of July because of the coronavirus, according to a survey from WalletHub.

This drop is a result of Americans deciding to stay home for the holiday. Around 74% of the survey’s respondents said they will not travel for Independence Day while 78% said they would spend less money compared with 2019, according to WalletHub’s report. More than half of those surveyed said they weren’t planning to shop over the holiday.

Health officials have recommended that Americans practice social distancing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. That includes limiting large gatherings and unnecessary travel.

Americans are deciding not to travel for the holiday since some celebrations have been canceled or events now have size restrictions, WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said in a press release. The U.S. is seeing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, and several states, including Texas and Arizona, had to halt reopening businesses as a result.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they would cancel their summer plans while 37% said they had postponed their plans. A quarter said they would move forward with what they had planned to do, according to WalletHub’s report.

Thirty-two percent of men kept their summer plans compared with 20% of women. Around 36% of the people aged 18 to 29 who were surveyed said they will travel during the July 4th holiday, three times as high as those over 59.

The WalletHub survey also found that almost one in three respondents felt less patriotic this year compared with 2019. About three in four said they do not trust other Americans to be responsible with social distancing over this Fourth of July.

Although many seasonal businesses may suffer due to the slowdown in travel, some experts said people could spend more on food and equipment, such as patio furniture and grills, when celebrating at home.

“People instead may plan a smaller gathering at home and may have their own fireworks show, which may increase some of their food spending compared to previous years that they may have attended their city’s shows,” said Michael Tsiros, a professor of marketing at University of Miami, when interviewed by WalletHub.

Many of the experts interviewed by WalletHub expected travel to bounce back for Independence Day in 2021 with pent-up consumer demands. Randy Stuart, a professor of marketing and professional sales at Kennesaw State University, said people will have learned to “live with the virus” even without vaccines in 2021 and will redeem their travel credits from this year’s canceled trips.

The WalletHub study was a national survey with more than 350 respondents.

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