07 May 2021 Business Insights

Are Consumers Ready to Travel Again?

An increasing number of countries are opening their doors to travellers from the UK, and there’s genuine optimism that holidays abroad will be a reality this summer. But will consumers be raring to go, or might there be some trepidation about travelling so soon after the second wave?

In this guide, we’re answering the burning questions about consumers and their appetite for travel post-Covid. From what it means for travel brands to potential signs of a travel recovery, here’s everything you need to know about holidaymakers being ready to travel again. 🧳

A roadmap to success 🗺️

Since the government announced a road map out of lockdown, the mood among travellers has improved. Recent research shows that 52 per cent of people are confident about travelling, compared to just 28 per cent who still hold reservations.

The roadmap was widely praised for not promising too much while offering a sensible and cautious way out of lockdown. So far, everything seems to be on track, leading to increased confidence for people deciding to book holidays.

It’s within the 35-45 and 55-plus age groups where the desire to holiday is strongest. And many of the 55-plus demographic will already have already received their second dose by the time travel restrictions are lifted.

Needing something to look forward to 🤩

The same study revealed that 81 per cent of those surveyed needed “something to look forward to”, with the impact of lockdown taking its toll over the last few months. Being stuck indoors has allowed many to dream about going on holiday again, and that dream is now starting to look like a reality.

There was an initial fear that the severity of the lockdown would leave people feeling cautious about leaving their homes to go to shops and restaurants, let alone travelling abroad. However, these concerns have since been allayed. In fact, 58 per cent of people said they wanted to “travel as soon as possible”.

A successful vaccine rollout 💉

Consumers also seem encouraged by the vaccine rollout, with a growing number of Brits getting vaccinated. The immunity given by the vaccines acts as a confidence booster, with travellers feeling more secure if they’ve received their two doses.

The UK’s vaccination programme hasn’t gone unnoticed abroad, either. Ministers in Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Portugal have all said they expect to welcome UK holidaymakers back this summer.

Shortly after these announcements, budget airline Jet2.com and Jet2holidays announced a 200 per cent uptake in bookings for these areas, with many already planning their summer vacations to Spain, Portugal and beyond.

Airline confidence 🛫

More often than not, consumers look to see how businesses react to potential problems. And they’ll be pleased to see that British Airways have revealed four new routes for the summer 2021 season, in what is surely a show of faith for international travel this summer.

The UK’s most famous airline recently announced routes to Wroclaw, Poland; Gdansk, Poland; Riga, Latvia; and Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Its new routes further underline an expectation for increased travel this summer, and consumers are sure to take confidence from British Airways returning to some form of normality.

New travel trends 👀

Customers are ready to travel again, but the way in which they do it could look slightly different. Sixty-one per cent of people surveyed said they expect to spend more than they normally would on a trip, indicating more luxurious – and perhaps longer – travel.

Personalised experiences are high on people’s list (81%), and privacy is also a requirement, with 78 per cent wanting a getaway that’s secluded from others. With the idea of people spending more to go away, it’s vital for travel brands to offer flexible payments and increase customer confidence further.

Allowing consumers to pay for the cost of their trip over several payments can empower them to find the holidays they desire. The result will be more people booking holidays as full confidence returns to the travel industry.

Reliance on travel advisors 💁

Expect consumers to take a different approach to travel in the short and medium term. Even with increased confidence, there’s still an element of the unknown, and many travellers will rely on advice from travel companies to ensure their holiday runs smoothly.

Nearly three in five people have indicated they would like to use a travel agent to book their next trip. Travel brands find themselves in a strong position in the market if they can aid customers with their needs when it comes to booking holidays.

The travel landscape looks complex in the immediate aftermath of Covid. Expert advice from travel companies can provide holidaymakers with the confidence needed to book a trip abroad this summer.

Travelling better in 2021

Despite concerns, there is a clear appetite for travel this summer as pent-up demand is unleashed. As a travel brand, you can help increase customer confidence by offering expert advice and providing alternative payment methods so travellers can unlock the type of holidays they want to experience in 2021.