Amadeus recently conducted an in-depth study on leisure travellers’ thoughts and opinions on planning upcoming holidays amidst the current pandemic.
The company collected the opinions of over 8,500 CheckMyTrip users from around the world through a quantitative and qualitative survey. Amadeus’ research findings, outlined in the eBook Destination X: Where to Next – What Leisure Travelers Want in a COVID-19 World, has uncovered that consumers have a healthy appetite for travel despite the ongoing challenges.
According to the findings, travellers want and have the means to get back out there. Nearly three-quarters say they want to travel within the first three months of restrictions being lifted. Amadeus revealed that the challenge travellers face is more about when, where and how they can best venture out. Nearly 82 per cent of respondents in MEA say they would consider international trips once restrictions are lifted, but only 55 per cent say they expect to have the same or more budget for leisure travel as they did before.
Amadeus additionally found that details increasingly matter. Travellers’ appetite for flying, staying at hotels and traveling by train and rental car remain overwhelmingly strong. Yet nearly 84 per cent of respondents in the MEA region say information on COVID-19 prevention is ‘very important’ to know up front before booking a hotel, with 75 per cent feeling the same about air travel. Price continues to play a role in decision-making, but other COVID-19 related factors now weigh in as travellers take their time to fully evaluate both their destination and transit options. Customisation and personalisation are key cornerstones of the trip.
Following the study, Amadeus also came to the conclusion that contingency plans are no longer optional. Travel insurance grows in prominence with young and old. At least one-third of all respondents say they are seeking more travel insurance coverage than before COVID-19. Specifically, 79 per cent of those surveyed globally see insurance as a necessity when travelling internationally. Flexibility to make changes or collect refunds are just one part of the leisure traveller’s overall insurance cost benefit equation.
Finally, Amadeus’ research revealed that travel agents are far from passé, with travellers now placing a higher premium on problem solving and support, especially for longer journeys. 70 per cent of those surveyed were open to custom travel experiences, either advised by travel agents or designed themselves. With an array of uncertainties still unfolding, Amadeus sees the potential for travel sellers to play a bigger role in helping consumers successfully navigate their options throughout all phases of their trip experience to strengthen confidence.
Managing director, Amadeus Gulf, Ernesto Sanchez Beaumont commented: “Millions of travellers are out there dreaming of their next adventure. They need the travel industry to share what measures are being taken to help keep travellers safe.
“Enabling travellers to successfully navigate the many variables, such as changing border restrictions, airline and hotel capacity adjustments, and other operational twists and turns, will go a long way to get people travelling again,” Beaumont concluded.