Most U.S. Tour, Attraction Guests OK with Vaccine, Mask Mandates

With so much debate in the United States over mask mandates and vaccine passports, we thought we’d shed a little data on the matter for tour, activity and attraction operators. Here’s what your customers think

Reading Time: 3 minutes 37 seconds

There seems to be no end to the politicization and debating in the U.S. over whether governments, organizations and private businesses should implement mask mandates or require proof of vaccination against Covid-19. 

Political perspectives aside, every business owner has to make difficult decisions around these policies. You have to weigh the interests of your business, your personal point of view, the perspectives of your staff, and of course what your customers want. 

When faced with difficult decisions such as this, we always look first to data. In June and July Arival conducted a survey of 1,000 U.S. travelers who are traveling or planning to travel over the next 12 months. We asked them how different health and safety policies would affect their decision to visit an attraction or take a tour or activity. Here’s what they said:

Most Travelers Don’t Mind Mandates

Most travelers are not only comfortable with a mask mandate but seem to prefer it. Just over half of attraction visitors and 57% of tour takers said they would be more likely to visit an attraction or book a tour if there were mask mandates in place. Meanwhile, just one in five tour takers and 17% of attraction visitors said they would be less likely to do one of those things if they had to wear a mask. 

Most U.S. Tour, Attraction Guests OK with Vaccine, Mask Mandates Arival Douglas quinby

Younger Travelers, Families More Open to Mandates

Younger travelers are much more likely to accept mask requirements: 58% of travelers 18–34 and 64% of travelers 35–54 said they were more likely to visit an attraction that requires masks. The higher likelihood for travelers 35–54 reflects increased safety concerns among adults traveling with children. The likelihood is similar or slightly higher for tour takers.

Older travelers are much more likely to be neutral. Half said mask mandates would not affect their decision to visit an attraction. However, a higher percentage of travelers 55 or older (24%) said they would be less likely to do so if there were a mandate. The resistance to mask wearing is somewhat higher — 32% — for tour takers 55 or older. 

Most U.S. Tour, Attraction Guests OK with Vaccine, Mask Mandates Arival Douglas quinby

What Does This Data Mean for Your Business? 

It can be difficult to look at national data and apply it to your business in your local market, especially if the trends you are seeing may be different from what we are sharing here. Here are four recommendations to consider: 

  1. This data is national. Your decision is local. These statistics reflect attitudes among a representative sample of all U.S. travelers. However, the circumstances in your local market may be different. If your destination has mandates in place from local authorities, then the decision may be made for you. New York City and San Francisco have already announced plans to require proof of vaccination for some types of businesses and indoor settings. 
  1. Everyone will never agree. Although this data says that a majority of travelers prefer a stronger approach to safety, there is a meaningful minority that do not. You need to make the best decision for your business and community, and those decisions — whether you lean in or ease off of some policies — may deter some potential customers from booking with you. 
  1. Not every tour, activity and attraction is the same. The considerations for different types of tours and attractions will vary significantly. If your experiences are primarily outdoors and serve smaller groups, then you, your staff and guests may be perfectly fine without mandates. If you operate a larger indoor experience with larger groups or visitor traffic and are currently in a high-transmission area for Covid, a mask requirement may be the right approach. Disney has reinstated its mask mandate for its indoor attractions and spaces.  
  1. Know your customers. There are notable differences in traveler attitudes by region, age and other factors. Data from national surveys like ours are a great starting point, but you know your customers best. Ask them. There are plenty of easy online tools, such as Jotform or Typeform, to conduct simple guest surveys. 

Things change quickly. You should be prepared to as well. The one constant through this pandemic has been the change. The course of the pandemic and its impact on the economy has continued to defy our best plans and expectations. Watch developments closely, and be prepared to adjust your approach as the situation warrants.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


already a member?

Lost your password?


Become an Arival Insider

Included in Free Membership

Included in Arival Pro Membership

The Arival on-demand video library archive
Access to the entire library of over 150 video sessions and webinars

Short, digestible research & trends reports delivering insights into our industry, such as The Tour Operator Outlook for 2021. articles
Topical articles about marketing, tech, operator business and operator stories in all areas of tours, activities & attractions & experiences

Job board access
Find a job from our regular listings, post a resume to the talent network and learn strategies from the job resources articles

New webinars
Helpful, instructional sessions covering subjects such as Mastering Facebook Ads, Grow Your Business and How To Work With OTAs — topics to help advance your business.

Discounts on all Arival in-person events
20% Discount on all Arival in-person events (save up to $300)* based on business type

Arival ProShield – Insurance program
Access to tailored insurance solutions by Granite Insurance is available exclusively for Arival Insider Pro Access Members. Insider Pro Access Members also have access to a suite of resources from Granite Insurance including templates, forms and other informative documents.

Insiders Pro Access member exclusive webinars
Paid membership-only webinars to deepen your understanding of important industry topics.

Job postings & talent directory
Post jobs & connect with candidates most applicable to your business.

Private roundtables to connect, learn and engage
Small, focused and intimate discussions exclusive to Arival Insider Pro Access members.

Full access to Arival’s library of in-depth reports
Up to date, deep analysis of tourism topics ranging from Self-guided Tours to Sales & Distribution Trends and Outlooks, based on the data that defines the industry.

The latest on-demand videos
Over 350+ on-demand videos featuring hot topics in tours, activities & attractions

Insider discounts in digital marketing, tech, e-learning, and more
Save money on additional tools, services and learnings you need to run your business. Exclusive to paid members.

Membership Overview

At Arival, we believe travel can make the world a better place. Our mission is to establish and inspire a diverse community of individuals and companies in the In-destination Industry by providing opportunities to gain insight, share knowledge and build connections. To make it possible for true collaboration, creativity, innovation, and idea exchange to thrive, we are committed to facilitating a welcoming and respectful community for all. This Conference Code of Conduct shares our community expectations and applies to all attendees, employees, exhibitors, speakers, sponsors, volunteers, and other participants at Arival- produced and sponsored events. We empower all participants in our community to actively engage in creating a friendly, inclusive and safe environment for all.

Arival’s core values include the following, and create an expectation for conduct at our events and in online community spaces:

We demonstrate a deep respect for human beings inside and outside our company and for the communities in which they live.
We value integrity and strive to consistently interact with others in ways that are authentic, ethical, and fair.
We are dedicated to transparency, committing to clear, open and honest communication.
We actively pursue and advocate for inclusion, diversity and representation of varying cultural backgrounds, perspectives and ideas

Arival welcomes people from all cultural backgrounds, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender (including pregnancy, perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender identity, religion (including religious dress and grooming), marital status, domestic partner status, genetic information, age, national origin or ancestry, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Accordingly, participants must refrain from displaying any demeaning, harassing, aggressive, or intimidating behavior or materials that would interfere with others’ experience and participation in our community.

If you witness or are subjected to inappropriate or disruptive behavior or have any other concerns, notify an Arival staff member as soon as possible.

Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Arival reserves the right to refuse entry to or remove any party from any event or community space at any time when participation or behavior create a disruption or hinder the event or enjoyment of the event by other participants. All determinations are at the sole discretion of Arival, and the decision of the Arival team will be final. Severe breaches of this Conference Code of Conduct may result in disqualification from participating in future events. Individuals expelled due to violating this Conference Code of Conduct will not be eligible for a refund or other consolation.

If you have questions regarding this Conference Code of Conduct or its implementation, please contact us at [email protected].