MaltaToday survey | Coronavirus is disrupting travel plans but most are holding on

A MaltaToday survey showed that 33.2% of people have said that the coronavirus affected their travel plans

The first major tangible impact of the coronavirus has been on international travel as governments move to shut borders, ban flights and introduce restrictive quarantine measures.

Malta has followed suit in introducing a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for all those who arrive in the country and banning all travel with Italy, Germany, Spain, France and Switzerland.

Apart from the fear factor, these measures have undoubtedly disrupted people’s travel plans. The tourism industry has already felt the impact of cancelled international conferences and cancellations of individual travellers who were primed for their holidays over the next two months.

Maltese are not immune to these developing circumstances with a MaltaToday survey showing that 33.2% of people saying that the coronavirus has affected their travel plans for this year.

However, more people appear to harbour the hope that their travel plans may yet remain unscathed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey shows that the coronavirus has, so far, not affected the travel plans for 37.7% of people.

These people may have planned a holiday for the second-half of the year and are probably holding on to their bookings in the hope that more clarity will return in the summer.

Just over a quarter of people (26.1%) had no travel plans for this year and are unaffected by the global disruptions to travel.

Optimism highest among those aged 51-65

A breakdown of numbers shows no marked difference between women and men but those aged between 36 and 50 appear to be more hard-hit.

Within this age category, 40.3% say their plans to travel abroad have been disrupted, while 30% say they have not.

Holidaying abroad is most popular among those aged between 51 and 65 – only 15.8% of these have no travel plans. This age group appears to be the most optimistic with 43.8% of people saying that the coronavirus has not disrupted their plans to go abroad.

The pattern among those aged between 51 and 65 is replicated among those living in Gozo.

Only 10.6% of Gozitans say they had no travel plans and so far, 47.3% say their travel plans have not been disrupted.

This same level of confidence is found in the Northern Harbour, the Southern Harbour and Western regions although in each of these three areas the number of people who had no travel plans to begin with rises to a quarter and higher.

Methodology

The survey was carried out between Tuesday 3 March 2020 and Tuesday 10 March 2020. 653 respondents opted to complete the survey. Stratified random sampling based on region, age and gender was used to replicate the population. The estimated margin of error is 5% for a confidence interval of 95% for the overall results. Demographic and sub-group breakdowns have larger margins of error. In those questions on the coronavirus where people were asked to give a grading from 1 (the lowest) to 10 (the highest), answers were grouped into three categories: Low (1-3), Medium (4-7) and High (8-10).

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