17:25 PM

TPA air travel survey shows hope after coronavirus

While COVID-19 continues to hamper global air travel, a new Tampa International Airport survey of more than 5,500 people from the region, the U.S. and abroad shows a glimmer of hope for future travel in a post-pandemic world.

The survey shows that roughly 61 percent of respondents said they plan to travel for leisure in the next year. Of those, 55 percent plan to travel domestically while 40 percent plan to travel both domestically and internationally.

“We are constantly monitoring the health of air travel both here and abroad so that we can share and help airlines make informed decisions as they resume service,” said TPA’s Executive Vice President of Marketing Chris Minner. “This survey shows that there is a strong desire to travel when people feel it’s safe to do so. As an Airport, we want residents to know we’re doing everything we can to be ready when they are.”

The survey, conducted between June 26 and July 6, identified the top domestic and international destinations for Tampa Bay residents. New York City/Newark came in the top spot followed by Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas and Washington D.C. The top three international include travel to Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico/Central America.

Some other key findings from TPA’s air travel survey:

  • More than half of Tampa Bay respondents said they are not traveling at all during the pandemic.
  • 62 percent of Tampa Bay respondents plan to travel for leisure purposes in the next 12 months, while 33 percent plan to travel for both leisure & business and 5 percent plan to travel for business.
  • 54 percent of Tampa Bay respondents plan to travel domestically in the next 12 months, while 42 percent plan to travel both domestically & internationally and 4 percent plan to travel internationally.

Passenger numbers at Tampa International Airport have increased significantly since the spring, but growth has slowed down since early July due to the surge in Coronavirus cases. TPA is seeing an average of 20,000 daily passengers compared to 70,000 this time last year.

In April, the Airport implemented comprehensive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as part of its industry-leading TPA Ready program. They include enhanced cleaning, social distancing signage, blocked seating, and mandatory face masks for all employees and tenants. Of survey respondents, 83 percent said they are familiar with the TPA Ready program.