A recently released report has revealed that the majority of consumers are ready to consider local and international travel – and that many more will book through an established travel agent than would have before COVID-19 struck. Contrary to what some media has portrayed many people have found claiming refunds a more streamlined and successful method. This is now coming out from research surveys.
Compiled by travel industry technology company, Travelport, the Guide to Travel Recovery report found that one third (33%) of all travellers expect a rise in their use of agents in the future, with two-thirds (65%) of those believing that travel professionals will be the best placed to provide the safety information they need.
Perhaps surprisingly, it is millennials (44%) and not older travellers that feel this way.
Overall, the study showed that the majority of travellers would be ready to hit the road again, but only if airlines, airports, hotels and car hire companies implement ten safety measures throughout their experience. The most critical of these are a demand on social distancing rules, mandatory use of facemasks, and easy access to sanitizing gel or wipes, gloves and masks, at all parts of the travel journey.
Consumers also want fully flexible or refundable flight tickets.
Here are the ten separate safety features participants in the study identified as being vital for rebooting travel:
This study highlights the criticality these measures are now playing in restoring traveler confidence,” Travelport CEO Greg Webb said “However, for the majority of travellers to return to the skies, the industry now needs to work together to not only ensure a wide array of safety measures are in place throughout the travel journey, but to collectively communicate these changes to travellers using a range of channels and merchandising technologies.”
Demand for robust safety measures was high across all categories, but highest among baby boomers and lowest among millennials. CAPA (Centre for Aviation) managing director Derek Sadubin said that while health and safety were understandably front of mind for travellers right now, “what’s encouraging, is that many suppliers, such as airlines, have already implemented the safety measures travellers say they need to book a domestic or international trip”. “Collaboration and communication are now key to restoring traveller confidence and securing a strong and responsible industry recovery,” he remarked.
The Guide to Travel Recovery report took into account the opinions of 5,000 travellers across the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand and India, along with 29 leading travel suppliers.