Study: U.S. migrants will adjust holiday celebrations this year

(BPT) – During this holiday season, a number of migrants will celebrate New Year’s Eve observing their own family traditions, though many will adjust their usual plans to maintain safety during the pandemic.

These were among the findings in a recent survey conducted by digital cross-border payments company, WorldRemit. The company serves millions of customers across the globe each year, helping them to send international payments from more than 50 countries to over 150 destinations.

“We’re happy our customers are taking steps to make this a memorable New Year’s Eve,” notes Corey Myckan, WorldRemit’s Country Director and Head of North American Growth. “For those living far from family and friends this year celebrations will be quieter as many won’t be traveling as usual. It’s great that people are finding new ways to support each other by using our service to show love and support to their family and friends.”

Here are some key findings about plans for this year’s celebrations from the survey:

This season rules. New Year’s Eve is the second most-celebrated American holiday within the migrant community, just after Christmas; this year, 56% plan a New Year’s celebration of some kind.

Family and friends matter the most. Asked which elements of the new year are most anticipated, 63% point to the chance to see friends and family, 46% look forward to enjoying the delicious food and 30% appreciate the chance to unplug from work.

Travel is a tradition – usually. Forty-eight percent of respondents have traveled abroad at least once to see family and friends to celebrate the New Year’s holiday. This year, however, 66% will avoid traveling to usher in the new year with 56% citing fears of contracting or spreading COVID and 40% blaming official travel restrictions.

Resolution: A still-meaningful New Year’s Eve. A full 77% of respondents believe New Year’s Eve is about being close to family and friends, and 69% say it won’t be the same without seeing certain people, with 76% just wanting a holiday that’s as normal as possible. However, 60% believe celebrating the new year is more important than ever right now, and 66% plan to show their love to friends and family even more than usual.

Sending money is still a holiday tradition. Forty-two percent of respondents have made transfers to family and friends abroad at least once as part of the New Year’s celebrations. Their motivation? Fifty-one percent have sent money as gifts, 46% have helped others cover related costs and 39% have helped friends and family buy gifts for others. This year, 76% say they’ll send the same amounts or more than usual; 20% wish to help those dearest to them who have been affected by the pandemic, 17% are supporting more people because of the pandemic and 14% want to make up for not seeing family and friends in person.

Optimism prevails. Looking toward 2021, 73% of respondents say they’re feeling optimistic about what the new year will bring, and 78% aim to spend more time with friends and family.

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The consumer research was undertaken by Opinium Research between the 27th October and the 5th November 2020, comprising a panel of 3,167 adults, including 1,010 in the US, 752 in the UK, 753 in Canada, and 652 in Australia. This data set was combined with a separate consumer survey run by Attest between 23rd October and 10th November, asking the same questions to a panel of 2,980 adults, including 1,059 in the UK, 941 in the US, 504 in Canada, and 476 in Australia. Of the merged responses, the total number celebrating New Year numbered 3,542 adults, including 965 in the UK, 1,095 in the USA, 794 in Canada and 688 in Australia.