Nearly three-fifths of leisure and business travelers are ready to support the tourism industry with bookings, according to a global survey of more than 27,000 travelers conducted by InsideFlyer. Both leisure and business travelers were surveyed, and 83 percent indicated that a trip was cancelled due to the effects of COVID-19 or that future plans until summer were affected.
Respondents said reliable customer service and refunds are a priority for future travel, indicating that they are eager to book but want the convenience of being able to cancel should conditions warrant. Over half of the respondents (60 percent) would like to either book the exact same trip that they had to cancel due to the COVID-19 restrictions or extra trips to compensate for the cancelled trips as soon as possible.
Opinions differ widely as to when this will be: 66 percent of the survey participants expect that it will take up to six months before travel is relatively normal again, another 29 percent expect an even longer period. However, the majority of participants (53 percent) would see a government announcement relaxing travel restrictions as a positive indicator.
When asked how they would support the tourism industry in this difficult time, 59 percent of the participants stated that they were currently booking travel for autumn and winter 2020. However, customers expect airlines and hotels to guarantee reimbursement of costs in case the booking gets cancelled. At the same time, 30 percent of the survey participants stated that they would only spend money on travel again when it was absolutely clear that travel would be possible.
Given the survey results, InsideFlyer predicted a return to normal.
“While it is clear that travel is at a dead stop right now, the travelers’ sentiment is telling us that there is still a strong desire to travel, and we believe this pent-up demand will result in the volume of travel matching the travel availability when bans are lifted and passengers believe it is safe to get out again,” said Amy Riedeman, global marketing officer, InsideFlyer. “When they can fly, they will fly again, but given the limitations, we expect to see travel increase broadly in line with the relaxation of government measures.”