Has the vaccine influenced consumers' behaviour surrounding travel and leisure experiences?
We are writing this on the morning that Matron May Parsons administered the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine to Margaret Keenan. The relief that we can see the light at the end of the COVID tunnel is palpable and this seems to be translating into a more optimistic outlook for the travel and events industry.
But, we know the world will be a different place in 2021. As Tickitto is on a mission to provide access to the best experiences around the world via a single connection, it is important to understand what people need and, particularly, how companies need to communicate with them to help them navigate the post-COVID ‘new normal’.
We conducted research in conjunction with Dr Ben Marder, travel and social media expert at the University of Edinburgh Business School.
Our survey provides clear evidence of pent-up demand for travel and leisure experiences, with over 59% of our respondents already actively researching their travel activity plans for 2021.
Naturally, we found that health and safety are top-of-mind concerns for people as they feel that they are responding to a ‘new normal’. Interestingly though, their self-reported intentions do not vary dramatically from prior trends. While this may run counter to intuition, it highlights that the ‘new normal’ may not be a radical shift, but that consumers seek reassurance throughout the process.
As for events and experiences, while travelling, spontaneity has taken a back seat: 85% intend to book everything ahead of time, with the majority saying that COVID-19 has prompted this decision.
Ola Zetterlof, CCO at ArrivalGuides – A Lonely Planet Company, welcomed the research: “I don’t see a sustained shift in consumers’ travel habits, and I expect bookings to happen in advance, especially for in-destination experiences. At least in the short-term, we will see a demand for more information prior to booking. I’m interested to see insight into what’s most valuable to travellers as they plan their trips.”
The full report with detailed analysis can be accessed for free here.
We hope you find our research into travel intentions timely and useful. It’s the first in a planned series of research projects which we will publish through this channel. If you would like to get involved or have some questions you’d like us to look into, please get in touch.
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