Holidays seem like a long way off for travellers at the moment. Everyone’s rooted to the ground, and one lockdown follows the next. But the UK is currently leading the way with vaccine rollout, which means flying to far-flung destinations could be about to become a reality in the not-to-distant-future.
People aged 50 and over are even rushing to book their holidays, in the hope that it won’t be long until they’re vaccinated. Expect other demographics to follow closely behind, as we all get excited about travelling again.
Once the UK gives the green light to holidays, the unleashed pent-up demand is likely to explode. The result will be millions of holidaymakers booking deals here, there and everywhere. Which begs us to ask the question: Is your business ready for pent-up travel demand?
Spotting the trends
If travel brands need a confidence boost about pent-up travel demand, they only need to look at the property market. Housing transactions shut down in March 2020 but reopened to a spike in buyers and sellers wanting to make up for lost months – and it was only closed for around eight weeks!
Travel has essentially been grounded for the best part of a year, apart from the odd opportunity for a holiday last summer. That’s 12 months of frustration and desire to escape. Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to assume holidaymakers will be rushing to holiday websites and travel agents in the hope of securing a getaway this summer when it’s ok to do so.
The chief of easyJet agrees, saying, “there are massive spikes in bookings when destinations are added to travel corridors”, adding “that demand is becoming more and more pent-up the longer this lasts.”
How to prepare for pent-up demand
The last few months may have been quiet, but everything’s about to change. And if you’re a travel brand, then you’ll want to prepare well for what could be a surge of demand from people booking their next holiday.
Here are some handy tips…
Update your websites
Being prepared means having all your ducks in a row, including making sure that your website is up to date with the latest travel information. Show your customers that you’re travel-ready and are the best place to serve their holiday interests.
Demand may be higher, but many customers are still unsure about travel restrictions in different countries. By sounding like an authoritative voice with details on the countries you offer holidays to, you can reassure customers and provide them with clarity over the destinations they’re visiting.
Always be transparent
Everyone’s bursting to go on holiday, yet the need to adapt to ever-changing climates remains essential. Customers will want to book their getaways knowing they’re covered if things suddenly change, such as travel corridors and local lockdowns.
The more transparent you are over aspects like the booking processes and your policies on cancellations, the more confidence you will give customers. Now, more than ever is the time to lay all the details out on the table so holiday bookers can feel assured when booking a getaway.
Flexible payment options
Even with pent-up demand for holidays, travel brands still need to navigate a world-wide economic climate that could be in better shape. Not everyone will feel like forking out large sums of money for travel in one go.
One way to combat this involves offering flexible travel payment options for customers. By allowing them to use a service like Fly Now Pay Later, travellers can pay for their holiday cost over several payments and still get to enjoy their vacation. From your perspective, it shows that you’re ready to accommodate customer needs to help them find the ideal holiday destination.
Smooth checkout processes
The digital economy is growing rapidly, and consumers demand a seamless checkout experience. If they don’t get it, they’ll go elsewhere to a travel brand who accommodates their needs. So it’s vital for you to provide a checkout process that only takes a few clicks.
Having a smooth process at checkout removes friction and helps customers complete the final – and most important – part of booking a holiday. Not only will you see more people visiting your website; you’ll see greater conversion rates if you have a trouble-free checkout.
Service the right destinations
While we can’t gaze into a crystal ball and predict people’s exact travel habits, there’s a strong case for holidays closer to home in the wake of Covid. They’re closer to the UK and offer more flexibility should a travel corridor close at short notice.
Ensuring that your brand accommodates the most popular holiday destination post-Covid will help cater to demand. Think staycations and easily accessible places in Europe, and you’re not far off. If people can travel freely during the summer, expect places like Spain and Greece to be at the top of everyone’s lists too.
Getting ready for the rush
It’s been a trying 12 months for travel brands across the world, as Covid brought everything to a halt. But there’s a reason for optimism, with vaccines paving the way for more travel flexibility. And if your brand is ready for the pent-up demand, it won’t be long before people come to you for their next holiday.
Learn more about Fly Now Pay Later’s flexible payment options and how it can give your customers more confidence to travel.